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By Bradly J Condon and Tapen Sinha

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With greater foreign direct investment in Mexico’s manufacturing sector, there are more jobs to keep Mexican workers at home. Export-led growth has the potential to reduce the wage gap between Mexico and the United States, further reducing incentives for Mexicans to seek work in the northern neighbor. Corruption, however, has the opposite effect. Corruption and other barriers to business make it more difficult to achieve the economic growth needed to close wage gaps and enhance the attractiveness of Mexico for foreign direct investment.

2 minutes. 6 minutes. 2 minutes. Average travel time does not tell the whole story. Many trucks took significantly longer to pass through the seven ports of entry. Hence, a “95th percentile” time measurement was used to provide information about the time that it took 95 percent of the surveyed trucks to travel the study distance. A comparison of average travel time with the 95th percentile time shows that a significant number of truck trips could in fact take far longer than the average. 8 minutes, the 95th percentile time for these was over 70 minutes.

Indeed, in the NAFTA region, the problem gets worse the further south one goes. However, the Mexican government is working on the problem and recent initiatives provide hope for the future. The alternation of political parties in power, the genuine separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches, the enhanced independence of the courts, the implementation of international agreements on corruption, the use of technology to enhance transparency, and public campaigns to change attitudes toward corruption all look promising.

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