|Tool Works, Inc is closing their auto parts plant in Mazon, IL and moving to Mexico. Triumph Group, Inc in Spokane, WA is too as well as other companies.|
April 3, 2017
After Donald Trump’s election, the flow of manufacturers setting up shop south of the border dwindled to a trickle. Ford Motor Co. and Carrier Corp., caught in Trump’s Twitter crosshairs, scrapped plans to move jobs to Mexico in two very public examples of the slowdown.
But now the pace is picking back up. Tool Works Inc. will close an auto-parts plant in Mazon, Ilinois, this month and head to Ciudad Juarez. Triumph Group Inc. is reducing the Spokane, Washington, workforce that makes fiber-composite parts for Boeing Co. aircraft and moving production to Zacatecas and Baja California. TE Connectivity Ltd. is shuttering a pressure-sensor plant in Pennsauken, New Jersey, in favor of a facility in Hermosillo.
While Trump hasn’t stopped pounding his America First bully pulpit, and the future of Nafta remains uncertain, “there’s cautious optimism and a hopeful attitude that cooler heads will prevail in Washington,” said Ross Baldwin, chief executive officer of Tacna Services Inc., which facilitates relocations.
Baldwin has seen the evidence: After business ground to a halt back in November, he’s now juggling two Mexico-bound clients. San Diego-based Tacna helps manage 4,500 workers in Mexico, where factory wages are about a fifth of those in the U.S. That may explain why Mexican manufacturing jobs rose 3.2 percent in January from a year ago as they dropped 0.3 percent in the U.S.
The renewed exodus shows how difficult it will be for Trump to turn the macroeconomic tide just by jawboning alone. This week, he trumpeted a Ford investment in Michigan plants with a cap-lock fanfare: “JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!” The $1.2 billion will create or retain only 130 positions, though. (While Ford canceled plans in November for a new $1.6 billion facility in Mexico, winning Trump’s praise, it employs more than 7,000 workers in that country.)
Trump’s plans to renegotiate Nafta and talk of punitive tariffs can’t erase the need to manufacture in lower-cost countries, said Alan Russell, CEO of El Paso, Texas-based Tecma Group., which also helps open and operate factories in Mexico. European companies tap the Czech Republic for low wages and Asia has Vietnam, and the U.S. needs Mexico to remain competitive with labor-intensive products, he said.
|Tags: Jobs & Economy Moving to Mexico Jobs US Companies|
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