Chill wind blows through Mexico’s industrial powerhouse

2/6/2017 Financial Times

factoryIt was not the grand spectacle typical of the launch of a multimillion-dollar plant. But in Monterrey, Mexico’s northern industrial capital, it was significant that American metal-stamping company Trans-Matic held an event in the Donald Trump era.

“I want to congratulate you on a gutsy move,” said Sergio Argüelles, chief executive of FINSA, a Mexican developer that owns the surrounding industrial park. “They did it because we all know projects like this benefit both our countries. You cannot flip the switch on the US-Mexico relationship from one day to the next,” he told the FT.

The new plant is relatively small: $12m invested with 55 full-time employees. But Trans-Matic is still sticking its neck out given that President Trump, who has called the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) “the worst trade deal ever” and sworn to end it, has publicly shamed US companies that manufacture abroad as being unpatriotic.

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