Mexico: The Second Largest Export Market of Kansas

Excerpt from: El Perico Informador y Parlanchín | By: Marco A. Alcocer

Kansas International Trade 

International trade is a vital part of Kansas economy. The Sunflower State averages 12 billion dollars in exports a year. Canada, Mexico, China and Japan are the top four markets for Kansas products and they represent more than half of that revenue alone.

Mexico is a key component

Mexico is the second largest export market of Kansas. In 2014, exports to Mexico reached about 1.8 billion dollars. According with the Kansas Mexico Office, most of the trade came from the sales of agricultural products, followed by aircraft, machinery and other various manufacturing industries. Exports from aircraft and aircraft parts reached the sum of 341 million dollars for that year solely. The total trade between Mexico and Kansas reached 2.7 billion dollars, a favorable balance for the state of Kansas.

The Kansas Global Trade Services

Last month, the Kansas Global Trade Services along with Scarbrough International, Ltd., presented a seminar regarding Kansas Exports to Mexico at the settings of the beautiful Wichita Art Museum. The conference was addressed to corporate executives, international trade consultants, business owners and others interested in learning the latest regarding Mexican International Trade regulations, NAFTA compliance, Cross Border transactions and other industry updates.

Scarbrough International, Ltd: “Doing Business with Mexico”

Despite the fact that Mexico is a very lucrative market, in the past some international brokers didn’t want to make business to Mexico.
Mr. Adam Hill, VP of Operations for Scarbrough, explained: “…five years ago {some brokers} from this part of the country…just said NO to Mexico”. They didn’t want to make business to Mexico, mainly because the transactions were different than when you export to Canada or Europe, which is a fairly simpler task. Fortunately, things have changed since then.

“Doing business with Mexico is not something that you need to be afraid of, it is not difficult….it is just different.” Mr. Hill explained.


Many times exporters experience a delay of their cargo at the border to Mexico and it may be stopped there for several days. This is because it has to be checked and cleared by “your import broker in Mexico.” She or he needs to verify that what you said you are sending is actually what they are receiving.

Laredo Texas, the busiest truck stop in the world!

Mexico counts with several ports of entry, 17 ocean ports, 11 interior ports, 19 ports in the USA-Mexico border and 2 in the south border (see map on page…). The USA-Mexico border is one of the busiest borders in the world. Actually, Laredo Texas, is the busiest truck stop in the world! Mr. Hill: “…Laredo Texas, it is the worlds largest truck stop…around 6 to 7 thousands trucks a day going each direction, really is 12 to 14 thousand transactions per day in truck alone, that cross the border”.

Doing Business with Mexico - 2016_Page_05

Ms. Rita Gonzalez, US/MX Operations Manager for Scarbrough International also spoke at the seminar and covered in detail the paperwork and other necessary requirements for exports and imports to Mexico. She talked about restrictions, trademark, duty free items and more.

Free money, through grants.

On the other hand, Mr. John R. Schott from Kansas Global Trade Services explained that there is free money, through grants, available to Kansas companies located in certain counties of southcentral Kansas. This is especially good for companies interested in growing their bottom line through exports. The monies from those grants can be mainly applied to training seminars, international trade missions and other educational opportunities. Kansas companies have used so far $68,000.00 of the 100K authorized.

We spoke with Mr. Tayler Waltson from the Kansas Global Trade and asked him if any company can export? He said:

“…any company truly can export, as long as you have a desirable product…exporting your products, is actually a relatively simple process, if you have the right resources such as Scarbrough International that put on this seminar, Kansas Global Trade Services, AJ Anderson with the US Commercial Services…it is a relatively easy process to learn, it does take a while to master…”

Do you have to have tangible items to export? Can you export services?

Mr. Waltson: “We actually have seen an increase in service exports, Yes! You can export things such as services. Service exports have been growing, particularly in the engineering side, you can see a lot of engineers from the Midwest that have a lot of engineering experience that are helping other foreign companies, develop certain types of fix base operations or maintenance or repair operations overseas.”

As you see, exporting isn’t an easy task at the beginning, however with the right tools, and the proper guidance and advice from experts in the international trade field, a company could position itself in the right place, if it counts with the right products or services attractive to their international clientele. Exports could represent a steady and rewarding source of income, especially important when the domestic economy is in the downward trend.

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Marco A. Alcocer
Wichita, KS

Kansas Global Trade Services
Wichita, KS

Kansas City, Missouri
(816) 584-2408