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date: 30 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the effects of Mexico’s export-oriented industrialization (EOI) strategy, which replaced the previous import-substitution approach. It argues that since the implementation of an export-oriented approach, GDP growth in Mexico has lagged behind much of Latin America. The country has maintained a trade surplus with the United States, but has had growing deficits with the European Union and Asia. Section 1 of this chapter examines the theoretical and policy proposal of the current EOI developed in Mexico since the late 1980s, also relevant for the implementation of NAFTA in January of 1994. Section 2 analyzes the general trends in the mentioned variables since EOI strategies took place, and particularly for its most export-oriented sector, manufacturing. In this general context, section 3 discusses the structural changes of a specific sector, the yarn–textile–garment commodity chain, in order to understand the conditions and challenges of a concrete sector. This chain will also be useful to understand the specificities of EOI to the United States and the characteristics of Mexican exports in terms of linkages, inputs, and learning processes. Finally, section 4 outlines conclusions and proposals for Mexico’s socioeconomy in the current context of an open and globalized economy.

Keywords: export-oriented strategy, export industry, industrialization, economic policy, manufacturing sector, the yarn-textile-garment commodity chain

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