By the Numbers


According to a recent Finance & Development Report from the International Monetary Fund, manufacturing exports from Mexico have risen to an all time high, coinciding with an ongoing decline in China’s market participation.  Here it is by the numbers:

  • Since 2005, Mexico’s share of U.S. imports of transportation and communications products increased steadily to 18 percent, accounting for 76 percent of total Mexican manufacturing exports in the first half of 2012.
  • Starting in 2009, most manufacturing sectors—20 of the 26 manufacturing import categories—showed gains, jointly accounting for 80 percent of total Mexican exports.
  • Wages in the manufacturing sector in China increased at an average annual rate of … close to 20 percent annually in dollar terms. In contrast, average wages in the Mexican manufacturing sector have remained fairly constant in dollar terms.
  • During 2010–12, Mexico gained market share relative to China in sectors in which labor played a bigger role than capital, such as in the manufacture of furniture and of plumbing, heating, and lighting fixtures.
  • In 2009 Mexico became the world’s leading exporter of flat-screen TVs, surpassing South Korea and China.
  • Goods produced in Mexico had the lowest landed costs (that is, their price at a California port) for U.S. importers in 2010 of all key low-cost outsourcing countries.
  • Mexico’s trade agreement network is one of the world’s largest; it has free trade or preferential trade agreements with 44 countries.

All together the story it tells is this: while manufacturing in China was on the ascendant for several years starting in 2001, it’s clear that their cost advantage has eroded and Mexico is best positioned to serve the needs of the United States and countries around the world.


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