The Maquiladora Industry: Economic Solution or Problem?

The Maquiladora Industry: Economic Solution or Problem?

The Maquiladora Industry: Economic Solution or Problem?

The Maquiladora Industry: Economic Solution or Problem?

Synopsis

This pioneering volume presents an in-depth examination of the maquiladora phenomenon written by experts on the subject. The contributors focus on three vital dimensions of the maquiladora issue: the impact of the maquilas on workers and economic development in both the U.S. and Mexico; the success or failure of the maquilas on an industry by industry basis; and the strategic aspects of the maquiladora program from geopoltical and macroeconomic perspectives. The controversial aspects of the maquilas--their impact on local pollution, unemployment and labor market exploitation--also receive extended coverage.

Excerpt

The world economy has been transformed in the past two decades, as economic, cultural, political, and social change have swept the world at a pace unprecedented in human history. The reasons for this great global transformation are many, and cause and effect are often difficult to disentangle, but the enormous advances in communications and transportation since World War II are clearly paramount as root causes. The term global village has been used to characterize a world made small by technological advances, and the global village has a global economy.

Few will argue that the world is not a better place because of the changes that the globalized national economies have brought about, but new challenges have confronted the world's providers of goods and services in the wake of international economic transformation--particularly in the United States. In this nation, some of our largest industries, including automobile manufacturing and international air transport, have been radically restructured and globalized. Much of U.S. business had grown complacent in the two decades after World War II, when U.S. industrial might and the U.S. dollar dominated the world. As Western Europe, Japan, and other nations completed their recovery from the war and began to close the economic gap between them and the United States and as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea began to industrialize in earnest, many United States companies found themselves unable to compete. The pressures of international competition made adaptation and change the price of survival for these firms.

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