NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Mexico Goes Global Under NAFTA

May 9, 2000

A decade ago, Mexican businessmen feared they would be crushed by U.S. competition if the North American Free Trade Agreement were adopted. Instead, they learned from their American partners and competitors, alike -- turning themselves into export powerhouses and disciples of globalization.

  • Last year, Mexico climbed to 8th place among the world's exporters -- from 26th place in 1993.
  • Mexican companies now employ about 70,000 overseas workers in more than two dozen countries, generating about $8 billion in annual revenue -- the figure for workers rising from just 2,000 in 1990.
  • Last year, Mexican manufacturers shipped more than $120 billion of goods abroad.
  • While more than half of the total comes from Mexican units of U.S. multinationals, about $50 billion comes from home-grown industry -- five times the 1994 level.

Experts say that NAFTA unleashed Mexico as an exporter and made Mexico's businessmen more aware of world markets. Those and similar developments have helped sustain annual economic growth rates of 4 percent in recent years and have added more than a million industrial jobs to the work force.

Source: Joel Millman, "The World's New Tiger on the Export Scene Isn't Asian; It's Mexico," Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2000.


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