/ Modified sep 27, 2019 4:52 p.m.

Gov Ducey urges Congress to pass USMCA

The Arizona governor also discussed border security, Tucson's sanctuary city initiative and education funding.

While an impeachment inquiry into President Trump dominated news on Capitol Hill this week, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey doesn’t want Congress to lose sight of ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would replace NAFTA. Ducey sat down with Lorraine Rivera at Arizona Public Media to discuss his latest attempts to keep the focus on the new trade deal.

“If it does go on the floor it will pass. And it’s very important for Arizona. Everyone knows Mexico is our No. 1 trading partner — times four,” Ducey said. “This is an agreement that takes into account the cyber age.”

The conversation also turned to new wall construction along parts of Arizona’s southern border amid a recent decrease in the number of apprehensions. Rivera asked Ducey if a taller fence is warranted, given the drop in crossings.

“The numbers have dropped, but there’s still large numbers,” Ducey said. “So I do think there are parts of our border where a wall is necessary. Where a physical barrier is necessary. There’s other parts where we just need more boots on the ground or technology.”

As Tucson’s election approaches, voters will consider Proposition 205, more commonly referred to as the sanctuary city initiative. Ducey explained his opposition to ballot measure.

“My position is one that’s informed by Mayor Rothschild, the Tucson City Council. I think all three Democrat candidates for mayor were all opposed to this idea because it could cost the city of Tucson north of $100 million. It could also hurt public safety,” Ducey said.

The conversation ended on the issue of education funding beyond the governor’s “20 by 2020” plan, which promised to raise teacher salaries by 20% over three years beginning in 2018.

“We’re never going to check the box on K-12 education. I’m someone that doesn’t want to make spending the measure of success. I want us to measure how are our kids doing in math, reading and science,” Ducey said. “We have options in the state of Arizona. We should make sure that we don’t go on a spending spree, but that we’re fiscally responsible with targeted investments.”

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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