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"We have to see this as an opportunity to participate in the Asian markets," said the CNIME president.
The CNIME's enthusiasm for Chinese investment in Mexico masks other problems in bilateral economic relations, such as the continued influx of Chinese contraband into Mexico (see SourceMex, 2003-05-14, 2004-01-14 and 2004-12-08).
"Our commitment now is to recover the 50,000 jobs lost because of the implementation of the ISCAS," said Daniel Romero Mejia, president of the Consejo Nacional de la Industria Maquiladora de Exportacion (CNIME).
The CNIME and other organizations representing the maquiladora sector have asked the Fox administration to take emergency steps, such as a tax amnesty, a loan package, and other financial aid, to help the industry weather the slump in sales.
Rolando Gonzalez Barron, the president of the Consejo Nacional de la Industria Maquiladora de Exportacion (CNIME), said the lack of infrastructure, the unavailability of nearby industries to supply raw materials, and the absence of sufficiently skilled and professional workers are disincentives for Mexican companies to open factories in the southern and southeastern states.
In December, maquiladora plants laid off more than 23,000 employees, with another 10,000 to 20,000 expected to lose their jobs during the first quarter of the year, according to statistics from the Centro de Estudios Economicos del Sector Privado (CEESP) and the Consejo Nacional de la Industria Maquiladora de Exportacion (CNIME).
Officials from the Consejo Nacional de la Industria Maquiladora de Exportacion (CNIME) criticized the SHCP and the Secretaria de Comercio y Fomento Industrial (SECOFI) for failing to give the maquiladora industry sufficient time to prepare for the new directive.
Luis Martinez Medina, chair of the CNIME's committee on fiscal matters, said the government has been slow to provide information on how the taxes will be calculated and collected and on policies for related areas such as the status of inventories.
The Consejo Nacional de la Industria de la Maquiladora de Exportacion (CNIME), which strongly opposed the original income-tax plan, offered a guarded endorsement of the latest proposal.
"This is a good agreement for Mexico, the maquiladora industry, and the US government because it removes the prospect of unacceptable taxation on the US companies and creates a framework for discussing how the Mexican companies should be taxed in the future," CNIME tax adviser John McLees told The Christian Science Monitor.
The possibility of having to pay the same tax in two countries initially caused the Consejo Nacional de la Industria Maquiladora de Exportacion (CNIME) to oppose the new tax on machinery and inventory.
But Inzunza said the CNIME has decided to keep an open mind regarding the new tax because of government assurances that a new taxation treaty with the US would be in place before the new tax becomes effective.
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