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For many years, most of the textile manufacturing industry in Mexico was dedicated towards leather products, such as boots, belts and shoes; however, apparel manufacturing in Mexico is beginning to flourish due to wage inflation in China and other Asian countries. According to the International Trade administration, textile and apparel production is the fourth largest industry in Mexico and accounts for 6 percent of the country’s GDP. Exports to Mexico increased 5 percent ($6.2B to $6.5B) from 2014 to 2015. Furthermore, Mexico continues to be a vital export market for the U.S., accounting for 39 percent of all technical textile exports in 2015.
The complexity of manufacturing leather products has provided Mexico’s maquiladora workers with a skilled cut-and-sew labor pool, which is now benefiting the apparel and garment industry. There has also been an increase in demand for the production of technical textiles like filters, car seat fabrics, air bags, etc. From specialty and industrial fabrics used in automobile manufacturing to medical textiles and protective apparel, Mexico’s apparel industry has been able to adapt and successfully serve these markets.
In addition, Mexico’s proximity to the United States can enable clothing manufacturers to reduce inventories and offer their customers a higher mix of products that can be delivered almost on demand. Another competitive advantage is Mexico’s ability for fast turnaround times and high-quality garment production adds to allows them to enter a greater range of fashion markets in the global apparel industry while still satisfying mass production means.
Because Mexico has treaties and trade agreements with many countries around the world, another benefit to partnering with apparel manufacturers in Mexico is the ability to import raw materials from around the world, often times without duties or tariffs. Once converted into a finished product, these goods can often be imported into the United States under NAFTA in same manner.
If you are a manufacturer exploring apparel production in Mexico, please contact NAPS for information on our Administration and Compliance Management Program.