Along the 1900+ mile stretch of the Mexico/United States border there are over 3,000 international factories manufacturing and assembling goods for export (primarily) to the U.S. and other developed nations. These multinational companies are drawn to the border region due to the low cost of labor, proximity to the United States (where many of the goods they produce are sold) and lax enforcement of environmental and worker safety laws and requirements.
Over the last 40 years, this factory hub (known as the maquiladora industry) has mushroomed along the Mexico/U.S. border region. Although the factories provide needed jobs for Mexican workers, they also typically provide very low wages and frequently unsafe working conditions. In addition, pollution from these factories is sometimes allowed to continue unchecked and environmental contamination along the border is increasing.
There is no "border fence" that can contain the air, ground, and water contamination caused by some of these factories, many of them located within a few miles of the U.S. border. Factory workers, who live in the shadow of the maquiladora industrial parks, must live in the midst of this environmental contamination left behind by multi-national corporations.
Partners for Responsible Trade Inc was started in 2014 as an Ohio non-profit corporation by Victoria and Christine Ruddy. Our mission is to create
awareness of unfair practices in global manufacturing and assembly industries and to help advance a more conscientious approach to offshore production in the developing world.
We will advance our cause by empowering people through research and education, as well as by organizing and supporting outreach groups and individuals. We will create awareness of global trade issues via written articles, books, documentary films, and other means of creating social awareness. Through greater awareness we hope to stimulate change and create a better working environment for workers in all countries.
Partners for Responsible Trade Inc focuses primarily on global trade issues in the maquiladora (factory) industry on the Mexico/US border. After researching wage issues, environmental concerns, as well as human rights violations along the border, we felt compelled to help workers realize a living wage and protect their communities from contamination caused by the corporations from other countries.
We want to encourage change through creating awareness in the US about labor inequities and environmental contamination along the border. We want corporations to be accountable for working conditions in their factories. We hope to see corporations implement conscientious and responsible changes that will improve the lives of workers and the environment at the Mexico/US border. We envision a more fair and equitable global working environment.
Tijuana Mexico border. March 2014.
Rio Bravo, Mexico