Activity 5-2
In Search of Greater Profit



  • Promote awareness of US/Mexico border as First/Third World border
  • Understand the reasons for the exportation of factories to the Third World
  • Consider solutions to the problems created by global free trade



Two class periods and homework


Answers to questions can be turned in.


  • Multi-national corporation
  • maquiladora
  • tariff
  • UAW
  • Free trade
  • The Big 3

Suggested Procedure

1. Ask students what they know about the differences between the US and Mexican economies. Ask them how much money the average worker in each country might make. ($.40 Mexican minium wage, $5.75 US minimum wage)

2. Introduce the basic idea of the Maquiladora factories and review the vocabulary terms.

3. Have students read first two articles and answer questions #1-10.

4. Discuss article, especially why all these corporations are moving operations to Mexico.

5. Have students read third article and answer questions #11 and 12 to find out what has happened in Mexico.

6. Lead class through "Discussion Questions."

7. What should be done? List problems.

Additional Activities:

1. Use any standard table on comparative GNP (World Resources is good) as a basis for students predicting what countries would have low wages and would thus be most attractive to corporations in search of cheap labor.

2. Have students watch the movie, "Roger and Me," to see how General Motors' decision to relocate factories to Mexico in the late 1980s affected workers, who were consequently laid off, and the community of Flint, Michigan.



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