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AZ trade up with Mexico and rest of world

Microphone company an example of international reach
Posted at 7:55 PM, Sep 01, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A huge share of Arizona’s economy depends on international trade—with Mexico and the rest of the world—and all of that trade is booming.

Made in America is an important message on boxes about to ship out from Cloud Microphones. It is an example of a company in Tucson that has taken advantage of booming international business with Mexico and with other countries.

Cloud Microphonesis dedicated to helping modern musicians record with the warm, rich sound of classic ribbon microphones—the kind legendary performers like Frank Sinatra used to make such memorable music.

Founder Rodger Cloud says, “If you listen to the music of the 1950s and 60s, there was so much richness and depth in the sound and there was like, a certain kind of soul to the music that can get lost in the digital world.”

Rodger Cloud hand builds the delicate innards that make ribbon microphones special.

He created special amplifiers to connect ribbon mics to modern equipment—-or bring some of that special sound to other microphones.

Workers on the Navajo Reservation do a lot of the precision work to build the amps.

This is a business with international demand—a snapshot of the variety that powers Arizona’s booming trade with Mexico and beyond.

Stats from U of A’s Eller School of Managementsay Arizona’s trade with the world was more than 60 billion dollars in 2022, up 16 percent compared to the year before.

More than 19 billion with Mexico accounted for a share of more than 32 percent.

In the ten years between 2012 and 2022 Arizona’s worldwide trade jumped more than 61 percent. Trade with Mexico jumped more than 50 percent in that time.

Cloud says , “It does take a long, sustained effort. You know, it's not for the faint of heart.”

He says building his business across the world requires building contacts in different countries and cultures, and navigating regulations that protect his product from ripoffs and copycats. He says the U.S. Commerce Department has been an important partner to his success.

“We're about 10% over year over year from last year in Mexico and you know, it's over the years it started from zero and it's just it seems like historically we have around five to 10% growth per year.”

Rodger Cloud says he learned Mexico is the number one importer of U.S. made microphones and that musicians in India, Japan and China want the quality they can get from his business in Tucson.