The Maquiladorization of the Mexican Economy

  • Kathryn Kopinak


While the significance of maquiladoras has changed over time, Angulo (1990, p. 139) says that “the modern meaning of the word evolved in practice from its use to designate any partial activity in an industrial process, such as assembly or packaging effected by a party other than the original manufacturer.” Changes in U.S. and Mexican law that permitted the emergence of maquiladoras in 1965 allowed for machinery, vehicles, and parts to be imported into Mexico duty free, for assembly to take place there, and then for the product to be returned without duty to the United States. Mexico taxed only value added, which was almost all labor. The program was limited to northern border regions, where the Mexican government had experimented with free trade zones in the 1930s.


Labor Force Minimum Wage Free Trade North American Free Trade Agreement Mexican Government 
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© Ricardo Grinspun and Maxwell A. Cameron 1993

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  • Kathryn Kopinak

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