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I love traveling and when I went to Malaysia I read about the Bayan Lepas area which was next to Penang.

Instead of looking at the US/Mexico border as a problem. Why don't we look at it as an opportunity to create growth for both nations. Why don't we create an economic free trade zone alongside both sides of the border. Then create incentives for peoples from both sides to be employed there. For multinational corporations to open hubs there. Imagine how much prosperity could be had there. How many lives changed.

Why must we keep thinking divisively?

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    Bayan Lepas is not on a border. Why do you think it's similar? – Rupert Morrish Apr 3 '18 at 3:22
  • I agree it is one country and it was not on a border. I was using Bayan Lepas only as an example of an Economic Free Trade Zone. The rules would be different in the territory shared by both countries for economic reasons. They could essentially share the rewards. There would be borders outside of the economic buffer zone on both sides. But in between, people could trade under different rules. I am curious as to the negative implications of this idea. – Dan Apr 3 '18 at 3:29
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There are numerous Free trade zones at ports and airports in the USA The purpose of such ports is to allow importers to store goods on land in the USA without payment of import tariffs.

This simplifies the operations of import companies. They can buy goods in bulk from (say) Brazil, store at a port in Carolina, then import some to the USA, and reexport some to Europe. The importer only pays US tariffs on those goods that leave the FTZ and are brought into the USA. The importer doens't have to pay both US and European tariffs on goods that it moves from Brazil to Europe via the USA.

It doens't make sense to put a FTZ along a land border unless there is an airport for reexport. At the airport in El Paso there is a large FTZ. There would be no point in putting a FTZ at a city without a port or airport, as there is no way to reexport goods.

A free trade zone is not an immigration-rules-free zone. It would require a separate and much more complex agreement to allow "people from both sides to work there".

  • Thanks for the insight. The export of goods could be done on the periphery of the border FTZ zone. Shipped via rail to San Diego or larger ports for Pacific Ocean shipping routes and to the Gulf for Atlantic shipping routes. Since you can ship to anywhere, goods could go to El Paso airport or other airports. If there is a large enough Industrial sector created the goods can flow down to Mexico via trucks and up through the US via various methods of transport. – Dan Apr 3 '18 at 19:45
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Because it does not serve the immediate political interest of either side.

  • Mexico (officially and unofficially) supports emigration of it populace into USA (if for no other reason, then because remittance payments are a big part of the economy. Plus economics reasons other than remittances: every citizen that migrates to US, means one less person to need to take care of/create a job for, so less headache for the government in Mexico - the people who migrate aren't high-skill workers, so they aren't exactly creating gaping holes in the economy when they leave due to low productivity).

    So, creation of FTZ on its border designed to contain the emigration and keep people inside Mexico doesn't benefit them - even if long term, the resulting economic benefits from FTZ may be a plus.

  • USA isn't interested in FTZ either, though, the specifics of "why" depend on who is in power, elite globalists or antielite nativists.

    • The former are interested in importing cheap labour - which FTZ would prevent.

    • The latter are interested in reducing competition from cheaper labor from Mexico, which FTZ would at least seem to increase, although one can argue that resulting economic growth would also add jobs for native born workers on the other side of the border. But we are dealing with politics here, and nuanced economic arguments aren't nearly as important as branding, ideological posturing and bumper sticker slogans.

      Additionally, depending on nature of FTZ jobs, it may also not offer any benefit immigration wise as poor unskilled farm workers would still try to get in as they aren't skilled enough for FTZ jobs.

  • washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/01/27/…. And of course, the logical conclussion of the first point is that Mexico does not like the NAFTA treaty. – SJuan76 Apr 3 '18 at 18:27
  • Not just farm workers. Many jobs that are often filled by undocumented immigrants are service oriented, such as hotel/motel housekeeping, yard care, even many sorts of construction. Impossible to move those to a dedicated free trade zone. – jamesqf Apr 4 '18 at 5:08
  • I think they fill those jobs because those are what jobs are available to them. Not because they want to work those jobs. There is also a vacuum which is created because many Americans do not want to work those jobs. Why don't we make other jobs available to them in a FTZ on the border? – Dan Apr 4 '18 at 16:09
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    @user964491 - "many Americans do not want to work those jobs" is a complete and utter false statement. Especially once you take into effect that - absent illegal labour - employers would have to raise salaries to attract more workers thus making jobs more lucrative for native born Americans – user4012 Apr 4 '18 at 16:57
  • I agree with you that companies have to raise wages to attract the Americans which do not work these jobs because the wages are too low. – Dan Apr 4 '18 at 20:35

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