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Herbert Sees 'Win-Win' Economic Union Between Utah, Mexico

April Ashland/File Photo
Utah Public Radio

Business partnerships with Mexico, public land disputes and Healthy Utah were the topics of discussion at Gov. Gary Herbert’s monthly address Thursday morning. 

Herbert is hoping stability in the Mexican government will lead to economic cooperation between Utah and Mexico in the near future.

Forty-one Utah businesses accompanied Herbert on a recent trip to Mexico to make business connections, and three of those companies entered into contracts with Mexican businesses.

Herbert said cooperation with Mexican businesses will benefit Utah and Mexico. He highlighted how Groupo Bimbo, one of the largest baking companies in the world, entered into a contract with a Utah bank.

"Their (Groupo Bimbo's) banking interests that they have are now going to be shifted to a local bank here in Utah , where they've been doing banking outside of our state even with their products in-state," he said. "So that will hire more people here in Utah on a company that originates in Mexico City, so it works both ways."

Herbert commented on the public lands dispute between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management. He said Bundy is not the face for public land issues in Utah and called Bundy’s recent racist comments “despicable and offensive,” if Bundy really did say them.

He said the issues in Nevada should be resolved under the rule of law, as with all Western land disputes.

"I understand the frustrations that people feel, but any time you've got Americans lined up on one side and other Americans on the other side with guns pointed at each other, we've got a problem," Herbert said. "And so I say to all sides of that issue in Nevada, 'Count ten, bite your lip and back down,' and let's come back at it another way and see if we can't resolve the issues as we should, under the rule of law, and find the proverbial win-win." 

On the topic of health care, Herbert said he has briefed leaders in the Utah House of Representatives and Senate on his recent trip to Washington, D.C., and says he is in negotiations with the Obama administration to enact his Healthy Utah plan.

Herbert said he hopes to have an agreement reached by the end of the summer.

- Eric Jungblut is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism at Utah State University.