It appeared that this colonial capital, booming thanks to auto companies lured by the North American Free Trade Agreement, could be undone by the Trump administration’s efforts to gut one of the world’s most profitable free-trade zones.
But after more than a year of strained Nafta negotiations, the unemployment rate here is approaching zero. On the horizon, a sprawling BMW factory glitters, nearly completed, in the desert sun. Recruiters stalk the main plazas with pleading signs: “We are searching for talent.”
Even as Nafta talks continue, Mexican cities like San Luis Potosi continue to thrive, a sign of how deeply entrenched the U.S. automotive industry — driven primarily by low labor costs — is in Mexico.
“The feeling we are receiving from our customers is that nothing is going to change,” said Jorge Luis Gonzalez, the manager at a factory owned by Samvardhana Motherson Group and producing hundreds of thousands of rearview mirrors every year for more than a dozen major automobile companies.
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