The Automobile Industry and The Mexico-Us Free Trade Agreement

Steven Berry, Vittorio Grilli, F. Lopez-de-Silanes

NBER Working Paper No. 4152
Issued in August 1992
NBER Program(s):Industrial Organization, International Trade and Investment

This paper considers the likely effect on the automobile industry of a free trade agreement between the U.S. and Mexico. As there are currently large restrictions on imports into Mexico, one important outcome of a free trade agreement would be the opening of the Mexican market to U.S. producers. This is consistent with the history of the international auto industry and the fact that the U.S.-Canada Auto Pact opened a new, large market to U.S. manufacturers. The current state of the Mexican auto industry is considered in great detail, suggesting that the Mexican industry will continue to prosper, increasing output but also relying heavily on production from U.S. owned plants and on inputs imported from the U.S. and Canada. However, much of the existing domestically oriented industry is likely to be replaced by other North American producers. Finally, an econometric demand analysis implies that economic growth together with declines in prices to world levels could rapidly expand the size of the Mexican auto market. The free trade agreement represents an opportunity for product diversification and rationalization in the auto industry.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4152

Published: Peter Garber, ed. The US-Mexico Free Trade Agreement. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993

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