It’s easy to forget that Mexico is a country where you can buy a $2.50 pair of sneakers in Mexico City and walk away with a good deal on them.
But as it turns out, that’s a pretty good deal.
According to a new report from The American Conservatives, Mexico has a staggering $16.6 billion textile industry.
That’s about 25 percent of the country’s total GDP, making it the fourth largest textile producer in the world.
The country also has the third-largest apparel industry behind the United States and China.
And thanks to a huge number of low-cost manufacturers and retailers, Mexico’s textile industry can actually be a net consumer of $2,300 per worker, which makes it one of the most competitive in the country.
Mexico has one of most competitive textile economies in the Americas, with more than 10,000 textile mills, more than 100,000 sewing machines, more or less a quarter of all textile production in the entire world, and a very large number of companies that make their living off the trade in cotton and silk.
The U.S. has an even larger textile industry than Mexico, but its production is far more concentrated and limited, with fewer than 10 million workers and a smaller number of firms.
Mexico’s cotton production, for example, makes up just about one-third of the nation’s total cotton production.
So the United Kingdom is the country with the most important cotton industry in the European Union, and it has a much smaller textile industry of just over half a million people.