The United States must pay close attention to how border security and other issues affect trade with Mexico, says a Tucson businessman who took part in a recent White House Business Council meeting.

Alex Rodriguez, founder of the Client Attraction Strategy Group, says he and other Arizonans in business told White House officials that the U.S.-Mexico relationship is important for the state and the nation.

"The U.S.-Mexico relationship is a vital one," rodriguez says in an Arizona Illustrated interview. "it's a strategic relationship for the United States. In fact just in 2011 alone we reached a record trade relationship with Mexico. Over $460 billion of goods and services go back and forth between both nations."

To increase the efficient flow of people and goods, the port of entry in Nogales must be expanded to alleviate pressure from heightened border security, he says.

The goal of the White House meeting, Rodriguez says, was to bring forth specific issues and plans to resolve them.

"What we earned is the ability to have a line of communication with senior decision-makers in Washington, D.C.," he says. "There's an ongoing two-way dialogue of information flow."