Le problème de la croissance au Mexique

PRINCETON – À l’époque où l’ancien président mexicain Carlos Salinas de Gortari et son homologue américain Bill Clinton signèrent l’Accord de libre-échange nord-américain (ALENA), il y a plus de vingt ans, l’espoir consistait à voir l’économie du Mexique s’intégrer à un avenir caractérisé par une vague croissante de mondialisation. Cette promesse est aujourd’hui tenue à bien des égards.

Le volume du commerce extérieur du Mexique (exportations plus importations) a connu une progression constante à l’issue de l’entrée en vigueur de l’ALENA, allant jusqu’à presque doubler, jusqu’à hauteur de plus de 60 % du PIB. Les flux entrants nets d’investissements étrangers par rapport au PIB ont quant à eux triplé. Bien que le Mexique soit un pays exportateur de pétrole, ses exportations de produits manufacturés se sont inscrites au premier plan, à mesure que l’économie mexicaine s’intégrait toujours plus étroitement aux chaînes d’approvisionnement nord-américaines. Quant aux secteurs de l’automobile et de l’acier, autrefois inefficaces et maintenus en vie au moyen de barrières commerciales protectionnistes, ils sont aujourd’hui hautement productifs et ne cessent de prospérer.

Comme tant d’autres pays, le Mexique a dans un premier temps été durement frappé par la concurrence chinoise sur les marchés internationaux, notamment à l’issue de l’adhésion de la Chine à l’Organisation mondiale du commerce fin 2001. Pour autant, la proximité du Mexique avec le marché américain, ainsi que les politiques conservatrices mises en œuvre par le pays sur le plan monétaire, budgétaire, et s’agissant du marché du travail, lui ont conféré une protection non négligeable.

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