Just in time for the latest round of the “Trump Tariffs” on China, the 2nd Mexico & China conference “Mexico: The New China” on May 8, 2019 in Dallas, sponsored by Josie Orosco and the US Mexico Chamber – Dallas was extremely interesting in providing practical perspective for businesses confronted by the rising costs of sourcing from China.
Here are some key takeaways, in the order they presented at the conference:
Robert Coronado of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas explained the dynamics of US global trade as it relates to China and Mexico and in particular just how interdependent Texas and Mexico have become. Of particular note is that the data is clear: NAFTA net-net has added to employment in both the US and in Mexico.
Jeff Cartwright of Shoreview Management Advisors went into detail in how manufacturing and logistics costs in China and Mexico have evolved both pre and post the Trump Tariffs and how companies can best position themselves tactically and strategically.
Phil Hochberg of KeyTronicEMS spoke to the advantages of contract manufacturing and the comparative advantages of China, Vietnam, and Mexico.
Mariana Herrerías of Korn Ferry Mexico elaborated on the Mexican human capital market and how companies preparing to near-shore to Mexico can prepare and take best advantage of human resources in Mexico which in many cases is now more inexpensive than the same caliber of talent in China.
German Dominguez of Shoreview Management Advisors explained that though China still has the advantage in the ease of the initial sourcing of raw materials and components it no longer always has the advantage when it comes to costs.
Jessica Gordon of the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration discussed the support available for businesses exporting from Texas and the US to Mexico and other markets.
Veronica Foster, CEO of Creative Mattress Designs, and CEO of Austin Healthcare Solutions shared her learning experiences in different manufacturing industries in Mexico and on the border and the strategic advantages in serving the US market from Mexico.
Irl Wakefield of Kuehne & Nagel elaborated on the logistical and cost advantages of sourcing from Mexico as well as the oncoming global increases in shipping rates as the fleet switches to more environmentally friendly propulsion systems.
Manuel Padron of Baker & McKenzie explained how with or without USMCA (currently being held up by the US Congress; not by Mexico) NAFTA and pre-NAFTA legal structures still provide competitive advantage for businesses manufacturing in Mexico. Manuel also noted that Mexico has more Free Trade Agreements than any other nation.
And Israel Morales of the Mexican Maquiladora Association explained how the maquiladora structure is in greater use than ever and continues to provide cost effective strategic advantage for manufacturers in North America.
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