Pictured Above: The late CBP DFO William Brooks along with members of the Greater Nogales Santa Cruz County Port Authority and the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas met several years ago with Senator McCain to talk about trade and the new Mariposa Port. The Port Authority presented Senator McCain with an award recognizing his hard work in enhancing trade for Arizona and in pushing for the expansion of the Mariposa Port.

Nogales, AZ — Sen. John McCain was a steadfast free-trader, who worked diligently for his constituents, recalled several members of the Board of Directors of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.

“Over many years, the produce industry in Nogales developed a strong relationship with Senator John McCain. We extend our condolences to his family,” said FPAA President Lance Jungmeyer. “His passing leaves a massive void in the Senate. In global policymaking there were very few who could match his passion and foresight.”

Sen. McCain was a staunch advocate for reasonable border security, realizing the important role played by Customs and Border Protection at the Ports of Entry, where trade is processed. “Sen. McCain understood the value of the ‘Men and Women in Blue,’ as we call those who work in Customs. He was very quick to point out Customs’ dual role in securing the nation and facilitating trade,” Jungmeyer noted.

Sen. McCain also was among the first to draw attention to the harmful effects of banking reforms in recent years, which made it difficult for fresh produce companies operating in the border area to obtain lines of credit.

Several Members of the Board of Directors of the FPAA offered their recollections of Sen. McCain.

“He was pro-America and largely above partisan politics. He was the kind of man that is all too rare and that truly made a difference. History will judge him with the respect he deserves.” – Walter Ram, Vice President of Food Safety, Giumarra Cos.

“He was never too big or important to not open his door to his constituents. He personally showed up, lent an ear and a word of advice. He may have been operating at the national level, but he never forgot Arizona.” – Matt Mandel, Vice President of Operations, SunFed

“Sen. McCain touches us all in different ways, some more personal than others. We are fortunate he represented us, listened to us, and coached us.” Martin Ley, Fresh Evolution.