Windsor-Essex businesses encouraged to increase exports to Mexico

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The CEO of the Institute for Border Logistics and Security wants local companies to consider expanding their export reach to Mexico.

That was one of the messages of the Mexican and Canadian Customs Compliance and Cross-Border event at Caesars Windsor Tuesday morning.

Laurie Tannous of the IBLS said local companies have some fears about shipping goods to Mexico.

“On the front page, you hear these horror stories: ‘The cartels are stopping trucks at the border.’ That fear stops people from expanding their operations,” said Tannous following the conference, which was closed to media. “However, we’re trying to encourage them that Mexico should be a partner for us.”

About 40 people – mostly from the tool and mould and manufacturing sector – attended the conference, Tannous said. Some expressed concerns about jobs being lost to Mexico from Canada, she said.

“What we want to say is if we can increase exports in this region, then that’s increasing jobs in this region because those goods are being made here,” she said.

The keynote speaker was Francisco Delacruz, who worked for 12 years in tax administration for the Mexican government. He said Mexico and Canada should work together considering the volume of trade between the two countries.

“Trade between Mexico and Canada is growing and it’s going to grow even more I think in the next years,” said Delacruz, who now works in a law firm.

Delacruz said Canada and Mexico are transferring goods in “a harmonious way” under the North American Free Trade Agreement. He said exporting and importing will become more complex if the Trans Pacific Partnership is approved by the 12 countries involved.

“Now it’s complicated to train people when we are talking about three countries,” said Delacruz. “I can’t imagine showing people from Canada about the law of Vietnam or the Hong Kong customs, all this stuff. It’s going to be a little more complicated, but it’s also going to be more interesting.”

Delacruz said Canadian businesses looking to export should learn more about the trucking industry especially, although the method of transportation often depends on the types of goods being shipped.

“(Trucking is) going to be more important in a couple of years because it’s cheap, of course, and it’s secure,” he said. “I think it’s the best way to make business nowadays. All the logistics of course are very important also.”

Tannous said having people like Delacruz come visit Canada from Mexico shows that Mexico is willing to work with Canada.

“That’s a good sign that they want business to come back here and that this is a two-way street,” she said. “That’s what we’re hoping for.”