Improved Travel Options Benefit Mexico and the United States
February 10, 2014
February 10th, 2014 — A new project designed to give air travelers an alternative to flying out of the San Diego Airport when traveling to Mexico is beginning to gain momentum.
It would allow travelers to park their cars on the United States side of the border and take a walking bridge across an enclosed, three hundred twenty-five foot passageway to the Tijuana International Airport. Travelers choosing this option would park their vehicles in one country and depart in another. This would eliminate the delays and waiting in long lines at the border that over two million travelers from the United States experience every year. Not only would they avoid the long waiting lines, they could potentially save as much as fifty percent on airfare when flying throughout Mexico.
The North American Free Trade Agreement has long sought an equitable solution to provide travelers safe passage between Mexico and the United States. Sam Zell, a prominent real estate developer from Chicago, believes that the bridge will benefit both countries when it becomes a reality. There are still many details that require clarification, and border initiatives take time. This ambitious proposal includes converting Tijuana International into a cross-border airport. Because the United States government refused to approve the plan in the 1990s, a new, more modest plan was developed in 2007 and received preliminary approval from the State Department in 2010.
The implications for improved relations between the United States and Mexico have far-reaching effects for those who must travel into Mexico every day to work. There are currently more than three thousand maquiladoras along the border between the United States and Mexico. More than a million workers are employed in the Maquiladora program. Maquiladoras in Mexico are manufacturing facilities that operate in a free-trade zone. Most materials and virtually all equipment imported into the country for manufacturing or assembly are on a duty and tax-free basis.
American companies benefit from the more than one million Mexican employees involved in the Maquiladora program. The labor force in Mexico is skilled and inexpensive, which allows foreign firms to continue operating the Mexican manufacturing plants. The companies benefit from increased production and higher return on investments by working under the maquiladora program. The greatest benefits are realized when the industry operations are assembly intensive. The wages that most foreign companies pay workers in Mexico contribute to the overall economy in Mexico and provide individual workers with a more comfortable way of life.
Because of the close proximity of the two countries and the relationship between the two governments, Mexico and the United States are continuously searching for better ways to work together for the good of both countries. American manufacturing companies, the maquiladora operations in Mexico, and the more than one million workers are the beneficiaries of this combined effort to provide a safer border for both countries.