NM exports to Mexico at record high

Troy Wilde

Public News Service | NM

After years of recession and job loss, there appears to be good economic news on the trade front for New Mexico.

Exports to Mexico from the Land of Enchantment reached a record high of slightly more than $800 million in 2013, said Robert Queen, director of the U.S. Export Assistance Center for El Paso and New Mexico. This reflects an increase of more than 30 percent, or about $200 million, from the year before.

Queen said rising costs of manufacturing in Asia are motivating some types of businesses to open plants in New Mexico.

“A lot of those companies – there’s no cost advantages to being in Asia – are coming back to this continent,” he said.

The increased manufacturing also is creating jobs. Queen said roughly one American job is created for every $1 million of new exports. Just a few years ago, in 2010, New Mexico’s exports to Mexico were valued at $429 million – and less than half that in 2005.

Queen said products made of metals and plastics that end up in cars, electronics and airplanes are manufactured in New Mexico, to be assembled into finished products across the border. He said the U.S. jobs pay pretty well and require substantial skill and experience.

“People that work in these facilities require quite a bit of training, a higher skill level,” he said. “They need to be comfortable operating pretty large, expensive machinery.”

Another factor in the increase, Queen said, is that the manufacturing base and infrastructure in southern New Mexico is more sophisticated today than it was a decade ago.



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