Mexico designates specific export cities
By Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, 8/6/2001 12:00:00 AM
NEW YORK —
The Mexican government last week announced a tightening of its borders that, despite some protests, may help U.S. textile manufacturers in the long run.
Ciudad Juarez, Manzanillo, Matamoros, Mexico City, Nuevo Laredo and Progreso were all designated as the official export cities of Mexico on July 30 for textiles and apparel ostensibly to help restrict the amount of illegal smuggling which takes place daily across the thousands of miles along the U.S.-Mexican border. However, in response to protests from Mexican manufacturers, Hidalgo, Vera Cruz, Columbia, Tijuana and the Mexico City airport were also added on Aug. 1. The ports were selected based on their ability through technology to monitor the large volume of textiles and apparel entering and exiting Mexico.
According to Jason Waite, esq., for Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman and Klestadt, an Atlanta-based trade and custom law firm, exceptions were also written to the rule. Temporary importers and exporters, as well as Mexico's maquiladora industry, which imports raw materials and turns them into finished goods for export, will not be subject to the new regulation.
The measures, which were announced through the Mexican government gazette, Diario Oficial, on July 30, potentially force shippers to divert their goods thousands of miles in order to travel through one of the designated cities. However, in light of preventing the illegal smuggling of textiles across the border, the extra shipping costs may be worthwhile to U.S. manufacturers.
"To whatever extent Mexico can crack down on smuggling will help the situation," said Carlos Moore, executive vp of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI). "What this does is give Mexico a better handle on interdicting and deterring illegal trade."
Moore added that since the designated shipping ports seemed to be well situated across the border, then U.S manufacturers hopefully would not find the added shipping expense to be an excessive burden.
Waite said one of his Mexican counterparts believed more designated ports would eventually be added.
But Waite also said the best defense against illegal smuggling was not Mexican customs, but U.S. customs. And since there were exceptions written into the rule, the collective effect on smuggling would not be great.
"I'm not sure that I believed (the new regulations) would have an effect on smuggling in their original or revised form," Waite said. "Its effect will probably be minimal."
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