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US-MEXICO GROUP WARNS CUSTOM STAFFING COULD HURT TRADE

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By: Phil Sneed

(TANDEM LOGISTICS NEWS FEED 10/02/11):  Mexico’s maquiladora manufacturing plants have bounced back from their 2009 recession levels and have returned with higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs, according to the Dallas Federal Reserve.

Despite the drug cartel violence and scores of murders in Northern Mexico, jobs in Mexico’s manufacturing sector grew 8.2 percent due largely as a result of an uptick in the automotive and electronics industries. Meanwhile, exports to Mexico during the first five months of 2011 are up $14 billion over 2010 levels, according to U.S. Census trade data.

What’s driving the job growth in Mexico is the pickup in activity in U.S. trade. Manufacturers are continuing to fill orders despite the drug war and violence that has consumed part of Mexico.

Because of this increase in cross-border activity, the Border Trade Alliance is urging Washington to address the severe shortage of U.S. Customs personnel at the nation’s port of entries.

However, the alliance, which counts Fortune 500 companies, bridge owners and government organizations along the U.S. border, is touting a new U.S.-Mexico cross-border program that local officials say could accommodate the increase in trade.

The program is voluntary and through it, participating trucking companies are subjected to fewer inspections at border crossings. Trucking companies whose shipments are validated in one country are eligible to receive the same privileges in the other country.

The Border Trade Alliance has planned a series of five workshops to brief companies about the program. The three workshops in Texas will be held in El Paso on Oct. 5, Laredo on Oct. 7 and McAllen on Oct. 21. The alliance is based in San Antonio.

Source:  Phoenix Business Journal