When Democrats recently rejected a trade proposal involving Pacific nations, some cited the North American Free Trade Agreement as a turning point for working Americans.
"Since NAFTA, we have hollowed out the middle class," a California congressman said, pointing to a drop in manufacturing jobs and stagnation in wages.
But Texas has been booming since the law passed 21 years ago. The state has added over 4 million jobs, which is more new hires than larger California and twice the growth rate of the nation.
Trade with Mexico and Canada has taken off, and Texas exports to Mexico have nearly tripled. Foreign investment in all three countries has soared. And U.S. trade in private services, a national strength, tripled to $30 billion in Mexico and increased even more in Canada.
As the largest American maker of consumer drones, 3D Robotics Inc. sees big opportunities in selling mini-helicopters with cameras, sensors and whirling propellers that buzz like angry hornets.
The Berkeley company expects to sell thousands of the pizza-sized drones — for about $1,000 each — at home and abroad this year. Tech-savvy customers want them for capturing wave-shredding surfing runs in the Pacific, monitoring oil and gas pipelines in remote regions, and other uses.
3D Robotics is out in front of dozens of California companies jumping into the nascent business of selling drones to consumers and commercial enterprises, just as companies in the state did earlier when the drone market consisted largely of one customer: the Pentagon.
Trademark Plastics Inc. is adding a location in Tijuana, Mexico, to meet growing demand from medical device and consumer product customers.
The Riverside, Calif.-based custom injection molder plans to begin Tijuana operations in October in 33,000 square feet of space, including a 20,000-square-foot Class 100,000 clean room, said David Carty, chief operating officer, and John Taylor, vice president of operations.
Trademark management decided in mid-March to proceed with the project.
Trademark's initial effort will involve 15 injection molding machines ranging from 60-350 tons of clamping force in the clean room, some assembly work and up to 50 employees.