Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Pentagon Pushing Mexico to Re-Open Defense Supplier Factories

The US Pentagon is pushing Mexico to re-open defense supplier factories that closed due to coronavirus.

Facebook Twitter Share
Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images

The US defense industry including Lockheed Martin and Boeing, as well as Honeywell and Textron, rely on Mexican production. But, Mexican suppliers have largely closed due to the inability to protect workers during the pandemic.  “Lower manufacturing costs (largely due to a lower wage structure), proximity to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the United States, duty-free access to other important aerospace markets, and a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) with the United States all contribute to Mexico’s greater appeal compared with other global manufacturing locations” the United States International Trade Commission said in a 2013 report

The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau, posted on his official Twitter account a series of messages urging action to “save the supply chains between the United States, Canada and Mexico”  

“The economic integration of North America requires coordination,” said Landau, after being questioned about the safety of workers at manufacturing plants, “Of course health comes first, but it seems short-sighted to suggest that the economic effects don’t matter,” he argued. He said it was not impossible to keep the economy going and to take care of the health of workers, while stressing that supply chains are at risk. 

In recent weeks, activity in the maquiladoras on the northern border have been affected by contagion, closures, sanctions, strikes, and work stoppages that require the companies to close their facilities due to the expansion of the virus, as well as optimal health measures in those that continue to operate. In Chihuahua alone, with dozens of plants closed, there are an estimated 180,000 inactive industrial workers. 

This call for re-opening plants comes in the context of Trump closing the borders to immigration, making clear what has always been the case: the US demands an easy flow of products over the border, while people are barred and criminalized. In the context of the pandemic, the hypocrisy is staggering. It is even more staggering in the context of the fact that the Mexico is far worse equipped to handle an epidemic than the United States and re-opening and putting workers at risk could mean a death sentence to thousands in Mexico.

It also comes in the context of a massive economic crisis in the United States, with millions of unemployed people, breadlines and hunger. While there isn’t money for working class people and a quarantine wage for everyone, there is always funding to expand the United States military machine. All funding to the military should be frozen immediately, and converted into funding for healthcare and those who are unemployed due to the crisis. 

The return to production cannot depend on the interests of business or the death industry of countries with military interference in economically dependent nations. The return to and maintenance of production, in order to truly guarantee the well-being and health of its workers, must be in the hands of the latter. Only elected commissions among the working base can determine whether or not there are conditions for production, and only the organized force of the sector can rethink what they produce and resolve whether production will be aimed at serving the great majorities or the few who do not hesitate to put their profits and their arsenal above workers’ lives. 

This article was originally published in la Izquierda Diaro, Mexico on April 23.

Facebook Twitter Share

La Izquierda Diario Mexico

Our Mexican sister site, part of the international network of La Izquierda Diario

Latin America

Solidarity with Myriam Bregman, Socialist Congresswoman in Argentina, Under Attack for Her Defense of Palestine

Myriam Bregman, the candidate of the Workers Left Front, received almost 3 percent of votes in Argentina’s presidential election. She has been subject to false accusations of antisemitism due to her consistent defense of Palestinians. Hundreds of activists and politicians from around the world expressed their solidarity with this open letter.

Nicolas Del Cano and Myriam Bregman

In Argentina, a Surprise Finish for the Establishment While the Trotskyists Add to Their Congressional Seats

The far-right Javier Milei suffered a setback in Sunday’s elections. But voting the lesser evil won’t deal a definitive blow to the Right. That’s only achieved through building a socialist alternative for the working class.

Robert Belano

October 25, 2023

International Statement in Support of the Left and Workers Front — Unity (FIT-U) in the Argentinian Elections

Hundreds of activists, intellectuals, trade union leaders, and political organizations from all over the world have signed this declaration in support of the Workers Left Front — Unity (FITU) in the Argentinian elections this Sunday.

Anti-Imperialism: The Socialist Candidate in Argentina Refused to Meet with the US Ambassador

We republish a letter by Argentinian socialist and presidential candidate Myriam Bregman, declining to meet with the U.S. ambassador, expressing solidarity with the U.S. working class and oppressed, and denouncing imperialist intervention in Latin America.

Myriam Bregman

October 10, 2023


The New Hollywood McCarthyism Emerging Around Palestine

Over the past week, a new Hollywood McCarthyism has emerged: multiple people in Hollywood have jobs and representation over their support of Palestine. We must denounce and fight these attacks which weaken the movement and scare supporters into silence.

Sybil Davis

December 3, 2023
A UAW sign is held next to a "Free Palestine" sign

The UAW Has Called for a Ceasefire. It’s Time for All of Labor to Stand Up.

The UAW International union has joined calls for a ceasefire and is exploring how to divest from Israel. This is a step which should inspire union activists to take up the fight to bring their union into the fight against Israel's attack on Gaza and the struggle against imperialism.

Rose Lemlich

December 2, 2023

Robert Habeck Wrote a Play Praising a Right-Wing Mass Murderer

Germany's Green vice chancellor strikes many as an idealist who has been struggling with the tough realities of government. Yet before he was a national politician, he wrote a play that opens a window into a dark soul.

Nathaniel Flakin

December 1, 2023

The World Kissinger Built Must Die Too

Henry Kissinger died at 100 years old. But his legacy remains in the brutal world system he built and the future generations of imperialist ghouls he inspired. They all must go.

Samuel Karlin

November 30, 2023