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Medical Equipment Manufactured in Mexico...But Most Will Go to US

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/mexican-medical-manufacturers-boost-production-for-us-hospitals-while-country-struggles-with-its-own-coronavirus-outbreak/2020/04/03/0e624fea-7517-11ea-ad9b-254ec99993bc_story.html

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 As demand soars for medical devices and personal protective equipment in the fight against the coronavirus, the United States has turned to the phalanx of factories south of the border that are now the outfitters of many U.S. hospitals.

Less than a year after President Trump threatened to impose tariffs here, Mexico’s $17 billion medical device industry is ramping up production of everything from ventilator components to thermometers and hospital beds — and scouring the country for workers willing to work through the pandemic.

The products, manufactured largely in factories run by U.S. corporations, will land in almost every hospital in the United States. Very few will remain in Mexico. It’s a byproduct of globalization distilled clearly during a pandemic: A nation that produces lifesaving medical equipment isn’t necessarily the one that gets to keep it.

“There’s this incredible irony that many of the medical devices that will save lives in the United States were made in Mexico, but most Mexicans won’t have access to them,” said Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank.

On Thursday, the mayor of Tijuana implored the city’s medical device manufacturers to “increase the portion of your production for local consumption.”

“We recognize the importance of your work for the economic development of the country,” Mayor Arturo González Cruz wrote. “But the health and well-being of Mexicans is even more important.”

Tijuana, once considered a seedy border town, has emerged in the last two decades as one of the world’s most important hubs for the production of medical equipment. Its growth in advanced manufacturing has helped make Mexico the biggest exporter of medical devices to the United States.

The city’s manufacturers said it would be difficult to heed Gon­zález Cruz’s call.

“The great majority of what we produce is made for export,” said Carlos Higuera, the president of Tijuana’s economic development corporation. “With federal government regulation in Mexico, and the way these companies are structured, it’s not easy to turn around and start producing for local consumption.” 

As the world races to increase production of ventilators, many parts of those, too, will come from Mexico. Supply chains for ventilators straddle the border, with ­components pieced together in both countries.

Integer of Plano, Tex., operates factories in Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, where it produces batteries for ventilators that are completed in the United States. Hillrom, based in Batesville, Ind., makes some ventilator components in its Tijuana factory and plans to begin producing the Life2000 noninvasive ventilator there in the coming months.

“It’s very likely the first things that a patient needs or comes into contact with, will have been produced in Mexico,” said Howard Karesh, a Hillrom spokesperson.

Becton Dickinson, based in Franklin Lakes, N.J., employs 15,000 people in Mexico who produce “multiple billions of products and components” every year, company spokesman Troy Kirkpatrick said. They include catheters and IV sets now being used to treat coronavirus patients in the United States.

“We have been in contact with the governor’s offices in the states in which we have operations to explain the critical nature of our manufacturing to maintain a functioning global health-care system and the precautions we are taking to maximize employee safety,” Kirkpatrick said.

Mexico has struggled to acquire face masks, ventilators and hospital beds. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador acknowledged last week that there were only 5,000 ventilators in the country. He ordered the purchase of 5,000 more from China. 

 

 

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This is not logical unless the products made in Mexico are only part of the end product. If the product is entirely made in Mexico, it should just be a change in shipping required. Or contracts are getting in the way. But previously written contracts are being totally ignored by some countries.

Lots of double standards at play here... "gougers" being lambasted for products being sold on ebay etc. and then countries flashing money to outbid for another countries shipments.

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Wonder if MEX has a version of the US Defense Production Act?  Not that AMLO is pro-active in fighting this virus.  

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If you don't have the money to pay for it you can't buy it even if it's made across the street from your house. Sad truth. It could be confiscated if you are willing to stand the consequences long term.  The pandemic has shown that countries need to produce vital equipment within their own borders for their own use.  

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I would guess these factories are probably in free trade zones. They are called maquiladoras.

The products are being assembled with parts from other countries that have never been taxed and must leave Mexico when completed.

Example Bosch has a factory in Mexico that manufactures automotive electronic assemblies. If you are in Mexico and need the part it is imported from the US. 

 

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