The Political Economy of Protectionism

Aurora Gómez-Galvarriato

in The Decline of Latin American Economies

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780226185002
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226185033 | DOI:
The Political Economy of Protectionism

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This chapter explores the evolution of international competitiveness and protectionism in Mexican textile manufactures, which is a paradigmatic example of an overprotected industry unable to compete internationally. By 1990, most mills in the traditional Mexican textile regions of Puebla, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz were on the verge of bankruptcy, if they had not already closed. A visit to several of them evidenced the use of outdated technology, which in some cases dated back to the nineteenth century. Since data on the textile industry at the national level are not rich and accurate enough to provide answers to many of these questions, the chapter explores the case of a particular firm, the Compañía Industrial Veracruzana S.A. This firm owned one of the biggest and most modern mills operating in Mexico during Porfirian times (1880–1910). Although operating until the present time with great struggle, it is but a shadow of what it used to be.

Keywords: protectionism; Puebla; Tlaxcala; Veracruz; textile industry; Compañía Industrial Veracruzana; mills; Mexico

Chapter.  18500 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Economics

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