At work in the auto parts production line in the Bosch factory in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. US President Donald Trump has threatened to impose a 35 percent import tariff on companies that ship jobs to Mexico. Photo: AFP, Pedro Pardo

Manufacturing jobs in Mexico grew 3.2% in January, while dropping 0.3% in the US. It’s no surprise as wages in Mexico are approximately one fifth of what employers pay in the US.

Bloomberg writes on US companies’ continued reliance on Mexican manufacturing, which persists along with a hope that President Trump’s threats of tariffs will turn out to be empty.

Ross Baldwin, who heads a firm which helps companies relocate facilities to Mexico, says that, despite the uncertain future of Nafta, people are operating with a “cautious optimism and a hopeful attitude that cooler heads will prevail in Washington.

A shift in attitude coming from the White House might be vital to the very survival of US companies, as Alan Russel, CEO of another firm which helps relocate to Mexico, points out. Europe has the Czech Republic, Asia has Vietnam, and the US needs Mexico to remain competitive manufacturing labor-intensive products.