U.S.-Mexico Trade:

The Maquiladora Industry and U.S. Employment

GGD-93-129: Published: Jul 20, 1993. Publicly Released: Aug 19, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed U.S.-Mexican trade, focusing on the: (1) growth in U.S.-Mexican trade, particularly in the top ten U.S.-manufactured exports to Mexico; and (2) maquiladora program's effect on U.S. employment.

GAO found that: (1) since 1985, U.S. exports to Mexico have tripled and U.S imports from Mexico have grown by 80 percent; (2) U.S. investment in Mexico has doubled since 1985; (3) about one-half of the maquiladoras registered in 1992 were owned by U.S. firms; (4) the top ten U.S.-manufactured commodities exported to Mexico in 1992 comprised about 23 percent of U.S. exports to Mexico in that year; (5) about 25 to 37 percent of Mexican imports from the United States went to maquiladora firms from 1985 to 1992; (6) the proportion of U.S. exports in general and the top ten U.S.-manufactured products exported to maquiladoras increased from 1985 to 1987 then decreased from 1987 to 1990; and (7) the employment-impact studies generally agreed that maquiladoras support some U.S. jobs, but the impact of the maquiladora program on U.S. employment could not be accurately quantified because of the studies' limitations.

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