MCALLEN, Texas – Francisco J. Peña-Valdés is an attorney with Cacheaux Cavazos & Newton, a company that has, for over 25 years, provided integrated legal services to international businesses.
In an in-depth audio and video interview with the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service, Peña-Valdés discussed the work of Cacheaux Cavazos & Newton, the other international trader associations he is involved in, the history of near-shoring, and his projections for the Rio Grande Valley.
On the subject of near-shoring, Peña-Valdés said that, for him, near-shoring started when Trump administration started hitting China with higher tariffs and taxes. He said a client from California would call him and say, “oh, we’re going to expand our facility. But instead of sending it to China, we’re going to open a plant over there in Monterey or Reynosa or Matamoros, or another city in Mexico. So, I think Trump began the cascade and everything after that began moving very, very fast.”
Another reason for the surge in near-shoring, Peña-Valdés explained, was USMCA and a provision in the treaty that required a higher percentage of the parts used to assemble an automobile be sourced from North America.
“We were sourcing a lot of products from China, aluminum, steel, electronics and whatnot,” Peña-Valdés. “And then the CHIPS Act came in and said, based on national security, chips must be manufactured in the U.S.”
Asked if the Rio Grande Valley might benefit from this legislation by landing a chip manufacturing plant, Peña-Valdés responded that Indian software developer Zoho is already here.
“It’s a good thing that Zoho is coming this way. Not only because they are going to provide good employment. It is going to provide a different vibe for the area,” Peña-Valdés said.
“By bringing these type of companies (to the Valley), they are going to set a precedent. Other companies, smaller companies, are going to look at us here in the RGV and say, I’m not even going to do due diligence. Because Zoho, a very important company, is setting up here, they are going to say, they already did their due diligence, so let’s go. We are going to start landing companies here. We’re going to start seeing more and more in that area. That’s my take on that.”
A trend that is already happening, Peña-Valdés said, is the arrival of even more Chinese manufacturing firms in the Monterrey area.
“They already have one specific industrial park just for Chinese companies outside Monterrey, going, like, north west of Monterey. Big Chinese companies are settling in Monterey. So other Chinese companies, of smaller capacity, they’re not even doing their due diligence. They are just going in there because this bigger company is already doing it.”
Here is an audio recording of the interview the Guardian conducted with Peña-Valdés. It is the first in a three-part series.
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