Maquiladoras are factories or export assembly plants, usually foreign-owned. They are generally contracted by transnational corporations (TNCs) to conduct the final stage of a production process, often assembling and packaging products for export. TNCs provide maquiladoras with materials, including preassembled cloth, electronic components, and chemicals. Maquiladora employees finish or semi-finish products. One hundred percent of maquiladora products are then exported back to TNCs. TNCs import machinery and materials duty-free and export finished products around the world.
In the past 40 years, maquiladoras have taken root on the northern and southern sides of the USA–Mexico border and throughout Latin America, although they also exist in other parts of the world where cheap labor is plentiful. As centers of production in what is referred to as the global factory system, maquiladora workers now provide a significant share of the world’s industrial labor. Some 60–80% of maquiladora...
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