Maquiladoras: Manufacturing Poverty in Mexico Essay

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The trend toward a more globalized market has become increasingly developed in the latter half of the 20th century. Emphasis on world trade has become a dominant figure in almost every Nation’s economy. Between 1970 and 2000 world trade has experienced an increase of almost 370 percent. Concurrently, world GDP increased by 150 percent. Trade is beneficial to Nations because it allows the creation of avenues that aid in efficient allocation of resources (Canas & Coronado). Countries can gain from trade when they specialize according to their comparative advantage. This is, when they create conditions where goods and services can be produced at a lower opportunity cost than in any other country. Along the same logic, countries can …show more content…
Early Mexican Immigrant Labor

The first real need for migrant workers by US employers came during the expansion of cattle ranches in the Southwest and the increase in agricultural production in California during 1850 and 1880. During this time over 55,000 workers emigrated from Mexico to the United States seeking jobs as field hands (pbs.org). A majority of workers were also employed in the completion of the railway that would eventually connect Mexico with the United States. In fact, it is estimated that during the height of construction between 1880 and 1890, as many as 60% of the working crews were Mexican (pbs.org). Soon the Mexican workforce became well established in American industries including mining, the railroad and commercial agriculture. Up to this point the migration of workers into the Unites States was small and limited mainly to skilled miners, field hands, indentured servants and small manufacturers forced north by Indians raids or the Mexican Revolution (pbs.org).

The aftermath of the Revolution provided a bleak outlook for the future of Mexico and dashed hopes to improve the lives of its citizens. Weaker harvests led to mass unemployment and it became clear that the Mexican lower class would have to find a new source of employment. Around this same time, the majority of the US labor force was overseas

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