Sewing Up A Storm South Of The Rio Grande

Mexico grabs the lead from China in textile exports to the U.S.

At the Canatex garment plant in the scrub-topped hills an hour north of Mexico City, hundreds of seamstresses sew cotton knit shirts for U.S. apparel manufacturers Tommy Hilfiger and Phillips Van Heusen. Near the plant, construction is under way on a new dyeing and finishing factory, to be equipped with machinery bought from a shuttered U.S. plant. Next on the agenda of Canatex President Simon Cheng: a state-of-the-art plant to weave fabric--to replace imports from the Far East and the U.S. "We have to control our own destiny," he says.

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