International Trade: Mexico's Maquiladora Decline Affects U.S.-Mexico Border Communities and Trade; Recovery Depends in Part on Mexico's Actions

GAO-03-891 Published: Jul 25, 2003. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 2003.
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Highlights

Mexico's maquiladoras have evolved into the largest component of U.S.-Mexico trade. Maquiladoras import raw materials and components for processing or assembly by Mexican labor and reexport the resulting products, primarily to the United States. Most maquiladoras are U.S. owned, and maquiladoras import most of their components from U.S. suppliers. Maquiladoras have also been an engine of growth for the U.S.-Mexico border. However, the recent decline of maquiladora operations has raised concerns about the impact on U.S. suppliers and on the economy of border communities. Because of these concerns, GAO was asked to analyze (1) changes in maquiladora employment and production, (2) factors related to the maquiladoras' decline, and (3) implications of recent developments for maquiladoras' viability.

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