Stop buying U.S. products… Would that benefit or harm Mexico’s economy?
In recent weeks, a movement has emerged in social networks for Mexicans to stop buying products from US companies in response to Trump.
#AdiósStarbucks, #NoCompresUSA and #Mexico are just some of the hashtags that have been trending in recent weeks among Mexicans asking society to support the consumption of “Made in Mexico” products and turn away from US companies and multinational firms such as Coca-Cola, Walmart, Starbucks, Burger King, Sears, etc.
However, failing to consume Starbucks coffee, a cheddar and mozzarella cheese stuffed Domino’s pizza, Charmin toilet paper or an ice-cold Coke will not necessarily help the Mexican economy improve or hurt U.S firms.
About 90% of Mexican production has a foreign component. For example, in the case of agricultural products seeds are used from abroad, even if harvested and worked in the country. And only 40% of the materials used by automakers are made in Mexico.
Coca-Cola imports from the United States its main input, which is the concentrate of its soft drink, but then Mexican bottlers like FEMSA and Arca Continental distribute and market it. In Mexico, Coca-Cola employs more than 95,000 people directly and another million indirectly through eight Mexican bottlers. This industry represents 1.4% of national GDP.
And Walmart employs about 200,000 Mexicans, is the country’s leading private employer and has numerous national provider development programs.
What then would constitute an effective boycott that does not hurt Mexico?
At the moment, some organizations like Consumer Power and even the Secretary of Economy have supported initiatives such as “Made in Mexico“, which involves buying Mexican products that are not fully imported and that support small producers and entrepreneurs.
According to Marc Segura, CEO of the crowdfunding Play Business platform, the first thing Mexican consumers have to question is why they buy foreign products.
“What we should do is offer better products than others, no matter where they are made. The consumer will consume what works best for him and solve his problem. I think it’s a good time to turn to Mexican companies and give startups an opportunity to start seeing how their products are, “he said.
By Elliot Bullman for Mexico News Network