Trade Wars, COVID-19, USMCA, and Protectionism: Exogenous Factor Influence on U.S- Mexico Supply Chains in the Automotive Industry


This research explores what the impacts of COVID-19, the U.S-China trade war, and the implementation of North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the United States, Mexico Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement, have had on U.S.-Mexico trade relations, focusing on the automotive industry. With rising trends of protectionism in international trade, this research focuses on the language that Tesla and General Motors company sites in Mexico used from 2021 to March 2023 in their released articles to the public and how frequently the variables of COVID19, the U.S China trade war, USMCA, and protectionism were discussed. Articles in both Spanish and English were included in this analysis. It is of particular importance to focus on the automotive industry as it is the largest industry in trade for Mexico with the U.S. In the 2021-2023 period, the Mexico General Motors and Tesla company websites collectively released 97 articles. The sample greatly consisted of articles from General Motors. However, because General Motors is much more established in Mexico than Tesla, this is expected. The presence of these variables of COVID19, USMCA, U.S. China Trade War, and rising protectionism caused major impacts to the global economy. Through content analysis of the released media articles from General Motors and Tesla, I found that these factors - which deeply impacted the global economy – also impact smaller sectors of the economy, namely automotive supply chains

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This paper was published in University of Denver.

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