Mexico loses power as a productive hub: clothing exports plummet by 20% in a decade




Mexico loses brightness on the global supply map. In the last decade, the country’s clothing exports have sunk by 20%, according to the latest available data from the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Specifically, the country has gone from exporting clothes worth 5.1 billion dollars in 2007 to 4 billion dollars ten years later. Both are far from the data of, for example, 2005, when they exceeded 7 billion dollars.

In 2017, the sector was affected by the threat of Donald Trump to suspend the North American free-trade agreement, which regulates trade relations between Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

Finally, the three governments reached an agreement to create a new agreement, the T-Mec, which has already been ratified by Mexico and is pending the green light of Canada and the United States.

Latin America as a whole, has lost abroad. The progress of Southeast Asia has undermined the importance of the region as a productive pole for the sector. In the last decade, clothing exports from South America, Central America, and the Caribbean have decreased by 9.9%.

Foreign sales of clothing from this market have fallen almost every year since 2008, with the only exception of 2019 and 2011, when it was 16.4 billion dollars. The following year, exports fell again 8%, and have continued to decline until they reached 14 billion dollars last year.

Another historical productive pole in the region, Colombia, has reduced its clothing exports abroad by more than half: of the more than one billion dollars it exported in 2007, it has remained at only 427 million in 2017, 70% less.


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