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International Trade Grows 27% in Region

Mexico is Top Trading Partner, Driven By Maquiladoras


Monday, May 6, 2013

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Showing a remarkable rebound from the depths of the recession in 2009, international trade in San Diego increased 27 percent to $56.5 billion last year, according to a recent study from National University System Institute for Policy Research. Last year, Mexico was the destination for 97 percent of all of San Diego’s exports, and the source of 82 percent of its imports, the report said.

As it has for much of the past two decades, the big driver behind all this trade is the maquiladora industry, which uses Mexico’s cheaper labor to assemble goods, and send them back into this country, said Kelly Cunningham, the economist who authored the report.

“In many cases, the products are designed here and components are exported to Tijuana where they are assembled and then returned as imports to this country,” Cunningham said.