Oklahoma companies were advised by
a team of export marketing experts at the
Oklahoma World Trade Conference at
Metro Tech Business Conference Center
that Mexico and Canada offer the nearest
and fastest export markets.
The relaxing and lowering of tariff
duties on goods by Canada makes it a
more enticing export market now than in
past years. Those tariffs will continue to
be relaxed more until they are phased out
completely in 10 years, said Dr. Dale V.
Slaght, U.S. trade consul at the U.S.
Consulate in Toronto, Ontario.
"Toronto also is
about 300 miles&
closer to Oklahoma
than Los Angeles
and 200 miles closer
than New York,"
He said exports
from the United&
States to Canada are
increasing at a&
higher rate than imports from Canada,
up more than 19 percent compared with
a 12 percent increase in Canadian
imports last year.
Slaght said the Canadian market likely
would be easier to enter by exporting
companies than the Persian Gulf or
"The U.S. Department of Commerce
has 150 trade representatives worldwide.
Japan has 200 in Saudi Arabia alone,"
Mexico's government is eliminating
corruption that has hampered business in
past years and is also cutting tariffs to
encourage direct business between U.S.
and Mexican companies, said Jose
Manuel Suarez-Mier, minister for eco-
nomic affairs at the Embassy of Mexico
in Washington, D.C.
The average Mexican tariff on goods
is about 10 percent, and the maximum
tariff is now 20 percent, he said.
"In the last five years trade has
doubled between our countries. Some
shops sell only `Made in U.S.A.' goods.
Not even in Oklahoma can you find
that," he said.
Mexico's government has "bitten the
bullet" to improve its economy, reduce
the national debt substantially and
encourage the export of goods and not
people. The government is attempting to
lure back Mexican citizens who have left
to secure better jobs in the United States,
Mexico is very interested in complet-
ing negotiations for an open trade
agreement with the United States,
because Mexico depends on the United
States to supply most of its imported
"You have a&
good neighbor to
the south, a neigh-
bor that is interested
in becoming a better
neighbor and would
like that in writ-
John S. Wood,
at the United States Embassy in Mexico
City, said he agreed with everything
Suarez-Mier had said.
Wood said his office could help
Oklahoma companies make contacts
with Mexican markets for their sale of
their products. He pointed out that 70
cents of every $1 Mexico spends for
imports now comes to the United States.
Mexico's imported goods from the
United States have risen 133 percent
from $12 billion in 1986 to $28 billion in
1990, he said. …