Mexican cement producer Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua (GCC) is ready to help President-elect Donald Trump build a wall on America’s southern border.
Based in Chihuahua, a large Mexican state bordering Texas and New Mexico, GCC is one of the largest cement companies in Mexico, but generates 70% of its sales in the U.S. and has multiple plants near the border.
“We can’t be choosy,” said Enrique Escalante, CEO of GCC. “We’re an important producer in that area and we have to respect our clients on both sides of the border.”
“For the business we’re in, Trump is a candidate that does favor the industry quite a bit.”
Escalante elaborated by referring to Trump’s plans to rebuild bridges and other aging infrastructure within the U.S.
It certainly appears the Trump presidency will bode well for Mexican firms, in contrast to how the Obama administration boded well for violent cartels and human smugglers taking advantage of America’s open border.
In general, Mexico will likely benefit greatly if Trump keeps his campaign promise to gut NAFTA, which has fueled mass unemployment in America’s southern neighbor, causing thousands of illegal immigrants to flood into the U.S. looking for jobs.
“There are no jobs [in Mexico] and NAFTA forced the price of corn so low that it’s not economically possible to plant a crop anymore,” said Rufino Domínguez, the former coordinator of the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations. “We come to the U.S. to work because we can’t get a price for our product at home.”
“There’s no alternative.”
NAFTA disrupted Mexico’s corn production so badly that only 75,000 Iowa farmers were able to grow twice as much corn as three million Mexican producers – and at half the cost because the U.S. maintained its corn subsidies under NAFTA.
“The big wave in illegal immigration from Mexico began in the 1980s, but it picked up strongly after NAFTA – that wasn’t unexpected,” NPR’s Tim Robbins reported.