Tuesday, June 29, 2010

fiesta on the road

Good news for Mexico.

Even better.  Good economic news for Mexico.

Surface transport trade (what we non-economists call truck and rail traffic) has improved markedly this year.  $27.8 billion in March.  Up $8 billion from March of last year.  And the 2010 figure is nearly as big as it ever has been.

So what?  You might ask.

Well, this is a big "so what."

The numbers mean Mexico's trade economy is coming back to life -- partly due to the economic structures put in place as a result of NAFTA.

One of the first results of NAFTA was an increase of Mexico's maquiladora industry -- factories, mainly on the border, producing manufactured goods for other manufacturers in The States.  Lots of auto parts.

So, when the American car industry showed all the vitality of a mastodon on tour in La Brea, the Mexican factories started closing down.  And Mexicans went without jobs.

Until now.

The increased numbers are interesting for another reason.  As the Mexican numbers grow, so do the figures for the American manufacturing sector.  Economists note that without this surge, the rise in the American gross domestic product over the past several quarters would have been much smaller.

NAFTA may not have delivered all of is promised benefits.  But it is working for both national economies during this faltering economic recovery.  Without the trade increase, those knitted brows at the White House would have looked like crocheted Afghans.

And if the White House would stop stalling on the trucking provisions of NAFTA, the trade figures -- and the subsequent increase in the GDP -- would look much better.  The president would undoubtedly respond he wants to see more trade move to rail and sea.  And off the roads.

Whatever the political ramifications, it is nice to hear good news about Mexico and America working together to improve the lot of their citizens.

That is something to celebrate.


Darrel said...

Now that you are mostly recovered from your last zip-line mishap, here is your next adventure. It is a 1.2 mile long almost 1000’ high ULTRA ZIP-LINE. The design engineers must have had your safety in mind. Your feet are hobbled and secured to a horizontal stabilizer to prevent any judgment errors on landing and to keep you from spinning out of control during your flight. Get back on that horse that threw you.


Steve Cotton said...

I am ready to go. I saw the line in your link during one of my zipline researching moments. Want to go?