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Mexico's In Bond Export Industries and U.S. Legislation: Conflictive Issues

Martin E. Rosenfeldt


In spite of the economic opportunities and competitive edge in the international market provided to both countries by the maquila operations through joint ventures, some American interest groups oppose such industrial ventures across the U.S.-Mexico border, fearing the loss of job opportunities in this country. Conflicting issues exist in U.S. and Mexican public opinions. On one side, Mexican maquila operations provide demonstrable opportunities to the U.S. and Mexican economies. On the other side, American labor groups fear the 'exportation of jobs.' These fears have been found, so far, to be unwarranted, though. Contrary to the expectations of labor groups, documented links between the formation of new jobs and maquila industries have been established which will be discussed in this article.

This study highlights the continuing expansion of the maquila-type industrial operations, expansion that engenders the industrial development of the northern borderland and interior of Mexico, and economic opportunities and competitive advantages for the U.S. and Mexico. Legislative enactments on both sides of the border that comprise the positions of the U.S. and Mexican governments supporting the maquiladora concept of binational co-production activities, are scrutinized U.S. labor arguments and criticisms concerning the maquila program are interpreted using institutional studies of the impact on the U.S. labor market. An assessment of challenges and opportunities created by maquila industrialization will conclude the study.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229