AL DÍA: U.S.-Mexico Goods and Services Trade Reaches Half Trillion Dollars

May 16, 2012

Mexico Institute, 5/16/12

Christopher Wilson

Perhaps it is a metaphor for the bilateral economic relationship in general. Without celebration or even much recognition, U.S.-Mexico goods and services trade probably reached the major milestone of a half trillion dollars in 2011.

This incredible volume of commerce is testament to a vast network of cross-border ties that have intimately linked the economies of the United States and Mexico, forging a natural economic alliance between the two countries. In recent years, the incredible expansion in mutually beneficial bilateral commerce has gone relatively unnoticed behind the headlines about drugs and violence, despite its very real positive impact on the lives of Americans and Mexicans alike.

Bilateral trade is made not only of finished products like cars, washing machines, tomatoes and grains, but also the parts that factories on each side of the border use to build everything from small electronics to massive airplanes. In fact, it is this trade in industrial inputs that most deeply binds the U.S. and Mexican economies as the integrated North American manufacturing sector works across national boundaries to build final products for sale on the world market.

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Chihuahua City is big dog in Mexico aerospace

May 14, 2012

The Washington Times, 5/14/12

When a jumbo jetliner touches down almost anywhere in the world, the last thing on the pilot’s mind is that the plane’s brakes likely were made in the capital of one of the most crime-riddled states in Mexico. Behind the headlines of warring drug gangs and a soaring murder rate in Mexico, a fast-growing high-tech economy centered on the aerospace industry has sprung up in recent years.

In Chihuahua City alone, 36 aerospace plants have opened since 2007 as a growing number of international parts makers use the city as a base for tapping a massive airplane-production market in the United States. “Our first objective was to get into the U.S. market and get a deal with U.S. customers,” said Nicolas Maillard, director of the French-owned Manoir Aerospace plant in Chihuahua City, 235 miles south of El Paso, Texas.

Shiny, precision-shaped steel discs produced by the plant are shipped to companies in Ohio and Kentucky, where they are added into the assembly line for brake systems on the Boeing Co.’s commercial airplanes. With the average cost of manufacturing labor running about $6 per hour in the city, a new era of high-tech growth is taking root. “The real advantage is the cost of labor,” Mr. Maillard said. “In France, labor would account for about 30 percent of the cost of production on an item like this. Here, it’s roughly 10 percent, and we’re closer to the market we’re trying to reach.”

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Christopher Wilson and Andrew Selee: Texas’ economic trailblazing with Mexico

March 27, 2012

The Dallas Morning News, 3/27/12

When President Barack Obama meets with Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper April 2, he would do well to heed the example of Texas. After all, Texas is the state with the closest economic ties to Mexico, and as a result, its economy is growing much faster than the U.S. average.

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Mexico ‘Critically Important’ to U.S. Economy

February 28, 2012

CONTEXT, Woodrow Wilson Center, 2/28/2012

At a recent event, the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute introduced a new publication, Working Together: Economic Ties between the United States and Mexico. The ensuing discussion focused on two economies joined at the hip and how enhanced cooperation could result in much-needed job creation. That’s an outcome that would be welcomed on both sides of the border. To further explore the economic ties that bind the two North American neighbors, we spoke with former United States Trade Representative, Carla Hills, and Mexican Ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan.

Read more…


Video Available: “Competitiveness, Jobs, and the U.S.-Mexico Economic Relationship”

February 15, 2012

On February 14th, the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute hosted a conference on regional approaches to creating jobs and strengthening competitiveness. The event launched a new publication by the institute: Working Together: Economic Ties between the United States and Mexico.

A video of the event is available here.


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