A maquiladora is an assembly or manufacturing plant, usually along the border between two countries, which receives imported materials and equipment duty-free, assembles the product, and then exports the product back to the originating country with very low or no tariffs. The word maquiladora comes from the Spanish word maquilar, which means to assemble, and was first used to describe plants established under a special program on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border. In 2006, the Mexican government expanded the program and renamed it IMMEX, standing for the Promotion of the Manufacturing, Maquila, and Export Services Industry. By 2015, more than 80% of Mexico’s manufacturing exports were produced in IMMEX/Maquiladora plants. Controversies about the impacts of maquiladora operations on Mexico’s natural environment and its ...

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