Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mexit, meet Brexit

As we returned on the bus from Mexico City on Sunday, we approached the city of Querétaro and the sight was one of explosive economic growth.

Indeed this city of nearly one million is the fastest-growing in the country right now. There are brand-new expressways, shopping centers, residential and commercial construction everywhere you turn.

Behind this growth during the past several years are dozens of industrial parks with huge hangar-like steel structures housing some Mexican but mostly foreign companies such as the France's Airbus (helicopter assembly) and Canada's Bombardier (jet engine components).

Although I didn't do a headcount, the largest number of tenants seemed to be American companies, attracted to Mexico by its low labor and operating costs. Call it the upside of free-trade.

Industrial parks in Queretaro.
What would happen to this feverish economic activity if the U.S. embarked on a nasty, Brexit-like divorce from Mexico, particularly if the grounds were Donald Trump's xenophobia and demagoguery rather rational economic calculations?

I suspect the results might resemble the mounting crisis now shaking the United Kingdom. Brexit was sold as an nationalistic and economic elixir but in fact it was poisoned by immigrant bashing and intolerance. It may turn out to be a case of the normally cold-headed Brits cutting off their noses to spite their ears.

###

2 comments:

  1. Then again, it may work out well. Britain did well before they joined the European Union. They don't need Brussels telling them how to measure and package products. And, the idea of open borders has proven to be a bad and dangerous idea. Luckily, they kept their own currency.

    I suspect we will see other, more progressive countries exiting the union. Hopefully, it will work out well for all concerned.

    Robert Gill

    ReplyDelete
  2. Most of those industrial parks are on ground that Gerald Hines, a Houston developer bought and developed about 20 years ago. He was and is a visionary who knew that NAFTA would have a major impact in and for Mexico as well as Canada and the US. Hopefully, all will continue to hum along as it is at present! Estimates are that it will take Britain at least 30 years to recover from the economic catastrophe that they suffered by their vote! Sad.

    ReplyDelete