Mexico is California’s Biggest Partner

Mexican Flag

“Mexico has a lot going for it just now. Its economy is tied to America’s rather than China’s: in a week it sells more exports to the world’s largest consumer market than it does to China in a year.

Once dependent on oil, it has Latin America’s largest and most sophisticated industrial base, exporting more cars than any country except Germany, Japan and South Korea. For two decades its macroeconomic management has been impeccably orthodox. Recently, it has thrown open its oil industry to private investment, and has tackled private monopolies. A vibrant Mexican middle class prospers along an industrial corridor running from the American border down to Mexico City. Its political system is essentially stable.”
 …from the Economist’s 2015 article “The Two Mexicos

The following is reprinted from Why Mexico is California’s China by Joe Matthews 02/27/14 at Zocalopublicsquare.org:

“Don’t look now, Californians. Mexico is about to pass us.

Americans are intensely aware that China, with its rapid growth and expanding middle class, is likely to have a bigger economy than ours within a decade or two. But few Californians are aware that the growing Mexican economy, with its own expanding middle class, is likely to surpass our state’s economy.

The moment of Mexican triumph may come sooner than we think. If you consider California its own nation, it would have the ninth largest economy in the world. Mexico currently has the 14th largest, but Goldman Sachs projects that by 2050, Mexico’s will be the fifth largest economy on the planet—having blown past California’s long before that.

We’d be better off thinking about Mexico as California’s China

Yes, such rankings are mostly symbolic: Mexico’s people (119 million today) will still be poorer on average than California’s. But if Mexico has a bigger profile on the world stage, we may find ourselves in its shadow. So Californians would be wise to start thinking differently about our neighbor. Right now, when we do talk about Mexico, we obsess on chronic, mutual problems—unauthorized immigrants, drugs, and violence. As a result, there’s been next to no discussion of Mexico’s rise—or of how we can prosper from it.

We’d be better off thinking about Mexico as California’s China—a vital economic partner that’s also a competitor, a society that is rapidly advancing even as it remains dogged by poverty, corruption, and other severe social problems.

Mexico is producing more engineers than California

The promise of the Mexico-California relationship is that our neighbor is gaining in areas in which we need help. California, with its stagnant economy and hollowed-out middle class, could find a new economic engine in the continuing growth in Mexico, which is already our largest export market. California is desperately short of engineers and technically skilled workers, and Mexico is producing more engineers than California (and nearly as many as the entire United States)…”

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