What is a maquiladora?

The Maquiladora Industry

Q. What is a Maquiladora?  

A. Assembly factories that are usually owned by U.S. based multinational corporations (MNCS) to produce and export a variety of household electrical, technological and automotive parts and supplies for export and consumption in the U.S. market and elsewhere.  Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) foreign investing companies may employ Mexican workers and promise to comply with the host government’s relevant labor, health and safety laws under the companion agreement NAALC (North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation).  Labor activists sometimes refer to maquiladoras owned and operated at the border by abusive MNCs as sweatshops.


Writer, attorney, Lawprof Emerita from Northern Illinois University.
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