The Economist, 10/27/2012
Mexico has transformed itself. A generation ago it defended its borders ferociously against yanqui imports. Today, thanks partly to the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it is one of the most open large economies in the world. Exports plus imports will reach the equivalent of 69% of GDP this year, according to HSBC, a bank—far higher than Brazil (19%) or China (48%). It is the world’s second-largest exporter of fridges, and the second-largest supplier of electronic goods to the United States
Location helps. No other emerging economy shares a long land border with the world’s biggest market. And soaring wages in China are making Mexico more competitive. In 2001 Mexican manufacturing wages were four times those in China; now the difference is trivial.