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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Mexican Firms Head North

Mexico is sending us both its workers and its firms:

Investment money pours in from Mexico, by Marla Dickerson and Jerry Hirsch, LA Times: Mexican money is making a run for the border — the northern border. Gruma, the world's largest tortilla company, unveiled plans Friday to build a major factory in Panorama City, part of a growing influx of Mexican spending in the U.S. ...

Gruma said ... the tortilla and chip plant, which is expected to employ about 350 workers..., would operate under the Mission Foods brand... [It] would be ... the world's largest tortilla factory, with the capacity to crank out more than 300 million pounds of tortillas and chips a year.

The proposed tortilla behemoth is the latest example of U.S. investment by Mexican businesses searching for new customers and faster growth. In the process they have defied predictions that pacts such as the North American Free Trade Agreement would send all jobs and investment south. ... Mexico's Cemex, the No. 1 cement maker in the United States, is poised to grow even stronger in the U.S. with a tentative $15.3-billion deal...

U.S. government figures show that foreign direct investment from Latin America totaled $87.3 billion in 2004, the most recent year for which data were available. That was more than double the $40.8 billion of 1999. Mexico has been one of the top investors. ...

[O]ther big operators in the U.S. have been Banorte in banking and Grupo Bimbo in baked goods. Investment also is increasing from other Latin American countries, whose companies are following their customers north.

Foreign food makers, for instance, have found a lucrative U.S. niche peddling brands familiar to expatriates while converting American palates to Latin tastes.

Lovers of Pollo Campero, the Guatemala-based chicken chain, can now find outlets in the United States. ... Brazilian petroleum giant Petrobras is drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico while the country's aircraft maker Embraer is servicing planes in Nashville. Argentine conglomerate Techint is acquiring a Texas-based maker of oil and gas equipment.

Already, Gruma is the largest tortilla maker in the U.S... It employs more than 6,600 U.S. workers. ...

    Posted by on Saturday, May 5, 2007 at 03:24 AM in Economics | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (10)


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