MEXICO CITY — President Donald Trump has made an example out of global automakers that produce in Mexico for the U.S. But auto parts makers south of the border also have a huge financial stake in the upcoming trade talks.
Suppliers here are maintaining a united front with the Mexican auto industry, but the parts community also has strategies for a favorable revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement, industry officials said at a conference here this month.
"The auto parts industry that exports to the U.S. is bigger in terms of sales than all the autos and all the heavy trucks that we sell" to the U.S., said Oscar Albin, executive president of Mexico's National Auto Parts Manufacturing Association.
In raw numbers, he said, auto parts exports to the U.S. last year were worth about $63 billion vs. $42 billion for light vehicles and $7.5 billion for heavy trucks. About 80 percent of the $80 billion Mexican parts industry's output ends up at U.S. auto factories, while only about 12 percent is sold at home, according to figures from Albin's industry group.
Suppliers are looking for ways all sides can leave the table happy rather than having the NAFTA talks devolve into punishing Mexico.