Rebounding San Diego International Trade
Economic Recovery Picking up Speed
Kelly Cunningham, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY SYSTEM INSTITUTE FOR POLICY RESEARCH
Monday, April 29, 2013
A significant portion of this trade pattern is the expansion of “maquiladora” operations in Baja California, where products designed and produced in the U.S. are exported to Mexico for further assembly and production, then return as imports to San Diego. In total Mexico accounts for 97 percent of all San Diego exports and 82 percent of all imports.
San Diego companies often partner with Tijuana firms in the design, engineering, and development of the products assembled in Mexico. The diverse and numerous manufacturing operations within the bi-national area make the metropolitan region one of the world’s largest concentrated areas for manufacturing.
For example, Tijuana and Baja California continues to be among North America’s main centers for electronics assembly and manufacturing. Most of the flat-screen televisions sold in the United States are produced here by companies such as Sony and Samsung. In more recent years, Tijuana has become the leader of medical device manufacturing in North America.
The San Diego-Tijuana hub is extolled as a model for American manufacturers attempting to compete with China and India. The advantages of nearby location and shorter supply chains offered within the San Diego-Tijuana metro complex allows companies to better manage bi-national operations. Companies are better able to contain and manage costs, risks, and component inventories. Insuring intellectual property rights and component parts are not pirated or pre-used is even more assured.
NUSIPR’s report on the latest international trade data for San Diego are published in the April 2013 edition of the San Diego Economic Ledger.