Mexico outsourcing jobs to America? No, it’s not a headline from The Onion, it’s really happening. Mexican baking company Groupo Bimbo’s Mexico City factory was completely overwhelmed by American appetites for its tasty treats, especially among the fast-growing Hispanic population, who are hungry for the taste of home. But instead of opening another Mexico-based kitchen, it headed across the border to set up shop. So far the baked goods behemoth has opened 80 plants in the U.S., hiring around 40,000 American workers to make everything from Bimbo Panque con Nuez (Pecan Pound Cake) to Barcel Takis Guacamole. So much for those authentic Mexican-made guacamole-flavored tortilla chips — these snacks are made in America.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry and his Mexican counterpart touted the growing economic connection between Mexico and the U.S. on Friday, with Mr. Kerry saying that while the security relationship between the two nations remains vital, economic ties are ultimately more important.
“We don’t want to define this relationship with Mexico or with other countries in the context of security or … counternarcotics traffic,” Mr. Kerry told reporters at Foggy Bottom after meeting with Mexican Foreign Secretary Jose Antonio Meade. “We want to define it much larger in the context of our citizens’ economic needs and our capacity to do more on the economic frontier.”
Only one Latin American or Caribbean country was mentioned in last night’s State of the Union, and it was a negative mention. “Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico.” It’s true that in 2011 and 2012 Ford added about 2,000 jobs in Michigan and Ohio manufacturing vehicles like the Ford Fusion that were previously manufactured in Mexico. However, Ford has expanded its operations in Mexico too.
Mexico’s auto manufacturing and auto parts industries are doing very well. Having an auto manufacturing industry that can so easily move vehicles and parts across North America’s borders has helped create multi-national supply chains that have benefited citizens in the US, Canada and Mexico. I understand and support President Obama’s push to improve manufacturing in the US. We should be investing in modern manufacturing hubs, research and development. But he was wrong to frame it as a US vs Mexico issue.
The New York Times, Economix blog, 10/19/2012
Of all the economic dynamics buffeting the American middle class, immigration might seem the easiest to explain: as millions of poor immigrants from Latin America poured illegally into the country seeking work, the conventional wisdom goes, they competed with more expensive American workers, displacing them from their jobs and undercutting their wages.
This understanding of immigration helped propel a vast increase in the Border Patrol’s budget over the last two decades to stop immigrants on their way in. It was the rationale for proposals to build a long, tall fence along the southern border. President Obama, who in 2008 said he would push for a law that would grant many of these immigrants legal access to jobs in the United States, instead deported a record number of immigrants working here illegally.
But this explanation of the impact of immigration is mostly wrong.
The Dallas Morning News 7/12/12
While the number of Mexicans heading to the U.S. has dropped dramatically, a surge of Central American migrants is making the 1,000-mile northbound journey this year, fueled in large part by the rising violence brought by the spread of Mexican drug cartels. Other factors, experts say, are an easing in migration enforcement by Mexican authorities, and a false perception that Mexican criminal gangs are not preying on migrants as much as they had been.
Central American migration remains small compared to the numbers of Mexicans still headed north, but their steeply rising numbers speak starkly to the violence and poverty at home. The perils of the journey have pushed smuggling fees as high as $7,000, as much as double the earlier rates, for a trip that takes weeks, or even months for those delayed by robberies, health problems or difficulties finding transportation.
The organization Mexicans First complained yesterday that at least 65,000 elementary and middle teachers have three of more full-time positions in the country.
“Not only is it impossible that a teacher can work three or more full-time jobs every day, but it is also illegal to assign them to the work,” said David Calderón, director of the organization, as he presented the report, “Gaps: The State of Mexican Education in 2010.”
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim says the only way to get people out of poverty is by giving them jobs and not just charity.
Slim says modern society is based on the welfare of others and, in his words: “the best investment we can make is to fight poverty.”
He has said he has no interest in competing with U.S. billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who have donated large portions of their fortunes to charities.