“I am going to provide Mexican manufacturers of leather shoes with full support. I pledge to work hard in order to keep in effect current duties on footwear imports. We shall close ranks”. While addressing the audience at the Poliforum Leòn auditorium, in Guanajuato, Governor Diego Sinhue Rodrìguez Vallejo pledged his support to leather industry companies. Yesterday, the National Action Party’s representative visited the halls at ANPIC, the leather industry exhibition: the fair, on its 54th edition, has taken place in Mexico since 1980. It is going to conclude today.
Leather industry players were placing many expectations on the speech given by Diego Sinhue Rodrìguez Vallejo. In fact, they have been dealing with a heavy crisis for a long while. They are much daunted by Mexican government’s intention of removing or, at least, reducing customs duties on imports of some commodities, including leather products. As reported by paginacentral.com.mx, while quoting some data supplied by Ernesto Vega Guillot, President of the Chamber of leather-tanning industry (CICUR), Guanajuato leather business is facing tough times. Overall production has decreased by 15% in the last few months, owing to a downturn in orders coming, most of all, from the automotive and footwear sectors.
Resilience and risks
“If you lower your productivity, costs go up: this is a rather delicate issue our companies must cope with – announced Guillot while talking to local press –. We are striving hard to keep up our manufacturing and reduce costs. Yet, it will not be easy to achieve such accomplishment. However, that is the only feasible option we have to safeguard and protect our investments”. According to a few data provided by CICUR, the reduction of customs duties on footwear imports would negatively hit 70% of the businesses and might even bring to 15,000 jobs less across the leather industry.