When most people think of Mexico, one of the first images that usually comes to mind is that of people living in poverty in a third world like environment. Images of the consequences of drug wars between gangs are also an image that many people think of, especially recently. The one thing that usually does not come to mind is Costco or Walmart. However, while issues of drug wars and poverty do exist, there is also a very strong Mexican middle class. Trade with the United States has increased tremendously over the last ten years. In 1993, exports to the United State were $42 billion but by 2011, this figure increased to $263 billion. This increase has allowed the Mexican economy to grow along with the Mexican middle class. Along with the growth of the middle class comes the desire for higher quality goods, which many Mexicans associate with American made products. In 2011, $198 billion of American goods were sold in Mexico. To supply and sell these goods to the people that want to buy them, major big box stores have opened up in Mexico, such stores include giants such as Walmart and Costco. This has of course, been difficult for the small, independent stores but has opened up much more choice for the Mexican families.
Trade between countries has helped create the global environment that we have today. Mexico is a good example of how increasing trade with other countries can be a benefit to everyone concerned. When families have access to quality goods and services, their standard of life can drastically change. Many people may have a negative opinion regarding these large chain stores, but they do serve a valuable purpose and can serve to make the Mexican families healthier and better.