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Economic development policies propel NM to the top

New Mexico is breaking export records and growing into a great place to do business.

Border towns like Santa Teresa have recently experienced outstanding economic growth, and every corner of the state is benefiting from the leadership and commitment of Gov. Susana Martinez to diversify our economy and make it less reliant on Washington, D.C.

Our new economic development policies are showing progress. Just recently, New Mexico made a big leap in CNBC’s “America’s Top States for Business,” jumping from 37th to 24th in the country.

The improvement is tied for the best in the nation.

When Martinez took office, New Hampshire was doing more business with Mexico than our state was. But not anymore. Last year, we were No. 1 in export growth to Mexico, doubling exports to our southern neighbor in only one year and quadrupling them since 2010.

We also broke records, seeing nearly $4 billion worth of products sold all around the world, exporting more products from more businesses to more places than ever before.

Our new business-friendly environment is also putting more New Mexicans to work. In April, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported New Mexico had seen the best export-related job growth in the country.

The increase of goods and services from New Mexico sold internationally has supported or created more than 16,000 jobs in our state.

We knew we had to diversify our economy and grow the private sector, and that included building the Santa Teresa Borderplex, and increasing exports to Mexico by upgrading infrastructure and developing invaluable relationships with our Mexican counterparts.

Las Cruces was recently ranked the No. 1 metropolitan area for export growth in the nation, with a 211 percent increase from 2013. Farmington also broke export records and ranked No. 2 in the nation for growth. And, in the same report, the U.S. Department of Commerce ranked Santa Fe’s export growth the fifth-highest in the nation.

During the governor’s first term, she signed the Border Jobs Package, which created a competitive tax environment for diesel fuel purchases and established an overweight cargo zone at our ports of entry with Mexico. This legislation has made it easier for companies to move goods and services in and around the border.

These initiatives encouraged several manufacturing, warehousing and distribution companies, including Union Pacific, to locate in our state.

We are preparing for continued growth at the border by working with leaders in Mexico to continue building a binational community with coordinated infrastructure, roads and rail. This area will be the prime location for major manufacturing and transportation companies, and will position New Mexico as the “Gateway of Trade for the Americas.”

Martinez has made New Mexico an international business competitor by critically improving our state’s tax climate. Since taking office, the governor has cut taxes 37 times, including the reduction of the corporate income tax rate by 22 percent. We have instituted a single-sales factor for manufacturers and eliminated tax pyramiding that often resulted in double or triple taxation of goods in the manufacturing and construction sectors.

These tax policies benefit approximately 1,350 companies from New Mexico that do business worldwide, 82 percent of which are small businesses.

These are businesses like Private Label Select, an organic cosmetics producer in Taos, which has seen its international business increase exponentially. It includes PESCO, a family-owned business in Farmington, and Ultramain, a growing aviation technology firm in Albuquerque, expanding in foreign markets.

These are the types of companies that Martinez seeks to boost – they are the backbone of economic prosperity for communities throughout New Mexico.

New Mexico will continue to grow as a leader in international trade, and we will not cease our efforts to grow and diversify our economy. We will continue to work toward creating jobs for New Mexicans and making our state a better place for companies to do business.

We remain optimistic our state will continue as a leader in the global marketplace.

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