right-wing view: Red China Opens NAFTA Ports in Mexico


Richard Moore

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Red China Opens NAFTA Ports in Mexico
by Jerome R. Corsi
Posted Jul 18, 2006

The Port Authority of San Antonio has been working actively with the Communist 
Chinese to open and develop NAFTA shipping ports in Mexico.

The plan is to ship containers of cheap goods produced by under-market labor in 
China and the Far East into North America via Mexican ports. From the Mexican 
ports, Mexican truck drivers and railroad workers will transport the goods 
across the Mexican border with Texas. Once in the U.S., the routes will proceed 
north to Kansas City along the NAFTA Super-Highway, ready to be expanded by the 
Trans-Texas Corridor, and NAFTA railroad routes being put in place by Kansas 
City Southern. Kansas City Southern¹s Mexican railroads has positioned the 
company to become the ³NAFTA Railroad.²

Right now, the cost of shipping and ground transportation can nearly double the 
total cost of cheap goods produced by Chinese and Far Eastern under-market 
labor. The plan is to reduce those transportation costs by as much as 50% by 
using Mexican ports.

Cost-savings will be realized by bringing the goods into the U.S. at 
mid-continent. Equally important is that the substantially reduced cost of using
Mexican labor in the ports and to transport the goods once off-loaded. Mexican 
workers undercut Longshoremen Union port employees on the docks of Los Angeles 
and Long Beach, just as Mexican truck drivers undercut the Teamsters and Mexican
railroad workers undercut United Transportation Union railroad workers. By using
the Mexican ports, the international corporations managing this global trade are
able to avoid the U.S. labor union workers who otherwise would unload the ships 
in west coast ports and transport the Asian containers into the heart of America
by U.S. truckers or U.S. railroad ground transport moving east across the Rocky 

In April 2006, officials of the Port Authority of San Antonio traveled to China 
with representatives of the Free Trade Alliance San Antonio, the Port of Lazaro 
Cardenas, and Hutchinson Port Holdings to develop the Mexican ports logistics 
corridor. The goal of the meetings in China was described by the March 2006 
e-newsletter of the Free Trade Alliance San Antonio:

In January of 2006, a collaboration of several logistics entities in the U.S. 
and Mexico began operation of a new multimodal logistics corridor for Chinese 
goods entering the U.S. Market. The new corridor brings containerized goods from
China on either Maersk or CP Ships service to the Mexican Port of Lazaro 
Cardenas. There, the containers are off loaded by a new world class terminal 
operated by Hutchinson Ports based in Hong Kong. The containers are loaded onto 
the Kansas City Southern Railroad de Mexico where they move in-bound into the 
U.S. The containers clear U.S. customs in San Antonio, Texas and are processed 
for distribution.

Hutchinson Whampoa, a diversified company that manages property development and 
telecommunications companies, with operations in 54 countries and over 200,000 
employees worldwide, is also one of the world¹s largest port operators. 
Hutchinson Ports Holding (HPH) owns Panama Ports Co., which operates the ports 
of Cristobal and Balboa which are located at each end of the Panama Canal. HPH 
also operates the industrial deepwater port of Lazaro Cardenas in the Mexican 
State of Michoacan, as well as the Mexican port at Manzanillo, also along the 
west coast of Mexico, north of Lazaro Cardenas.

The Free Trade Alliance San Antonio was created in 1994 to promote the 
development of San Antonio¹s inland port. The Free Trade Alliance San Antonio 
and the Port Authority of San Antonio are both members of NASCO, an acronym for 
the group¹s formal name, the North American¹s SuperCorridor Coalition, Inc. A 
Kansas City Star newspaper article posted on the website of the Kansas City 
SmartPort, another NASCO member, shows the importance of San Antonio¹s inland 
port to the developing NAFTA Super-Highway and NAFTA railroad corridor emerging 
along Interstate I-35. According to reporter Rick Alm, San Antonio envisions the
opening of a Mexican customs office in their inland port, a move that has been 
pioneered by Kansas City SmartPort:

Under this area¹s arrangement [establishing a Mexican customs facility in the 
Kansas City SmartPort], freight would be inspected by Mexican authorities in 
Kansas City and sealed in containers for movement directly to Mexican 
destinations with fewer costly border delays. The arrangement would become even 
more lucrative when Asian markets that shipped through Mexican ports were 
figured into the mix. ³We applaud the efforts of Kansas City and the Mexican 
government in developing a Mexican customs facility there,² said Jorge Canavati,
marketing director for Kelly USA [former name for San Antonio¹s inland port 
established on the former site of Kelly Air Force Base]. He said a Mexican 
customs function for KellyUSA ³is something that is still far away Š We may be 
looking at that² in the future.

A world map on the North American Inland Ports Network (NAIPN) on the NASCO 
website graphically highlights in yellow the trade routes from China across the 
Pacific ocean, to Mexico at the ports of Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas, 
entering the U.S. through San Antonio.

A Free Trade Alliance San Antonio 2005 summary of goals and accomplishments 
documents the direct involvement of the Bush administration into the development
of San Antonio¹s inland port NAFTA plans. The following were among the bulleted 

€  Organized four marketing trips to Mexico and China to promote Inland Port San
Antonio and met with prospects. Met with over 50 prospects/leads during these 

€  Continued to pursue cross border trucking by advocating a pilot project with 
at least two major Mexican exporters as potential subjects. Worked with U.S. 
Department of Transportation, Dept. of Homeland Security and U.S. Trade 
Representative on this concept.

€  Working with Mexican ports to develop new cargo routes through the Ports of 
Manzanillo and Lazaro Candenas.

€  San Antonio is on the route of the Trans-Texas Corridor planned to be built 
along I-35 from Laredo, Tex., on the Mexican Border, north through Dallas, en 
route to the Oklahoma border.

The development of a China-Mexico trade route reflects a fundamental shift since
the passage of NAFTA. At the peak in the mid-1990s, there were some three 
thousand maquiladoras located in northern Mexico, employing over 1 million 
Mexicans in low-paying, assembly sweat-shops. Today, even Mexican labor is not 
cheap enough for the international corporations seeking only to maximize 
profits. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, that bubble has burst 
and the maquiladora activity is down over 25 percent from the peak as the 
international corporations have found even cheaper labor in China.

As the Port of San Antonio evidences, linking NAFTA inland ports with NAFTA 
super-highways and NAFTA railroads is an important part of the development plan 
for the emerging global free trade economy. San Antonio officials by working 
with the communist Chinese to open Mexican ports for NAFTA trade evidence that 
plan. International capitalists are now determined to exploit cheap Mexican 
labor, not so much for manufacturing and assembly, but as a means of saving port
and transportation costs in the North American market.

The Bush Administration seems on-board with the plan, aiming to increase 
corporate capital gains in NAFTA markets rather than worrying about the adverse 
consequences to Mexican low-skilled workers or to the U.S. labor movement that 
transferring increasing amounts of manufacturing and assembly to China entails.

Copyright © 2006 HUMAN EVENTS. All Rights Reserved.

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