Mexico - Country Commercial Guide

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-08-01

Although Mexico is a major producer and exporter of textile products, the Mexican textile sector is so large (and with tariff-free treatment under USMCA) that it represents a best prospect industry sector for U.S. exporters of specialty fabrics, yarns, and equipment. This section includes a market overview and trade data on the industry.


Mexico is a major textile producer, with an industry based on competitive labor costs and geographic proximity to the United States. U.S. specialty textile producers can capitalize on the large Mexican sector but should understand certain technical requirements, including rules of origin, verification audits, and reference prices.

According to the Mexican National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía or INEGI), 60 percent of the Mexican textile industry is concentrated in the central and north-eastern parts of the country, including Puebla, Mexico City, and the states of Mexico, Hidalgo, Tlaxcala, Guanajuato, Nuevo Leon, and Coahuila. The textile sector represents around 2.4 percent of Mexico’s GDP.

U.S. Textile Sector Exports to Mexico (Figures in USD Billions)





Total Textiles & Apparel








Total Textile Mill Products












Exchange Rates*




*Original data in USD for 2017, 2018, 2019.
Source: Office of Textiles and Appare

Rules of Origin and the USMCA Certificationof Origin Certificate of Origin

Mexico has gradually reduced its tariffs on textile imports from the United States that meet the rules of origin under the United States–Mexico–Canada agreement (USMCA) and previously NAFTA. Many textile and apparel exporters are not familiar with the rules of origin, or the implications of claiming USMCA certification of origin without knowing if the product qualifies as North American. U.S. exporters should be aware that labeling such as “Made in the USA” is not the same as qualifying under USMCA rules of origin.

Qualification for preferential duty treatment under the USMCA depends on whether the textile may qualify as goods produced in the North America region. USMCA rules concerning textiles are complex and detailed.  As outlined by the U.S. International Trade Commission, the USMCA’s modifications to the NAFTA textile and apparel rules of origin ease the requirements for duty-free treatment for certain products, but tighten the requirements for other products. The USMCA modifies some “fiber-forward” and “yarn-forward” tariff shift rules, meaning that finished goods qualify for North American origination so long as the yarn and fabric are formed and finished in one of the partner countries. The tariff shift rules are also different for goods classified under chapters 61 and 62 (knit and woven apparel) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). The NAFTA requirement that visible linings be sourced from one of the parties is eliminated, but new requirements specify that sewing thread, narrow elastic fabrics, and pocket bag fabrics must be sourced from one of the parties. The agreement has new rules for certain made-up goods described in HTS chapter 63, which are made from fabric coated with plastic.

The United States–Mexico–Canada agreement (USMCA) opens new opportunities for U.S. exporters in yarns, fabrics and apparel. Further details on the agreement for textiles can be found in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s USMCA fact sheet on textiles and apparel and the International Trade Administration’s How U.S. Textile and Apparel Companies Benefit from the USMCA.

Verification Audits

Since 2012, the Mexican Tax Administration (Servicio de Administración Tributaria or SAT) has been conducting extensive NAFTA verification-of-origin audits for textile and apparel imports. These are likely to continue under USMCA. Letters or questionnaires sent by SAT requesting information on a product’s rules of origin should be answered promptly. U.S. exporters must also ensure they keep complete and clear records showing they are complying with SAT’s deadlines. Mexican importers that do not answer may be subject to large fines.

Textile Decree and Reference Prices

Several measures affect Mexican textile importers, and collaterally, U.S. exporters. These measures include an importer registry, the establishment of reference prices (not to be applied to products entering Mexico with a USMCA certificate of origin), and a five-day waiting period for all imports.

Importers of textiles and apparel products must be registered in the Official Registry No.11 for the textile/apparel sector.

Leading Sub-Sectors

The technical textile industry in Mexico is experiencing remarkable growth brought about by increasing domestic demand and the shifting of production. This increase in demand has resulted in demand for greater investments in the technical textile market to produce industrial fabrics and medical textiles and is a great opportunity for U.S. exporters to increase their presence in Mexico.


The U.S. Commercial Service in Mexico is happy to assist you in exploring textile and apparel sector opportunities. Due the growth of the automotive and aerospace sectors, industrial fabrics for upholstery and protective fabrics represent an opportunity for U.S. companies. Some opportunities in raw materials include synthetic fibers, fabrics with textured polyester dyes, fabrics with artificial fibers, and fine wool fabrics.

Finally, the United States is the second-largest supplier of textile machinery to the Mexican market. Medium- and large-sized companies are investing in new technology and machinery to improve their production and supply chains. There are some opportunities in product design and the introduction of modern technology to yarn and textile production processes.


Web Resources

Mexican Apparel Association (CANAIVE)

Mexican Textile Association (CANAINTEX)

Mexican Tax Administration (SAT)

Secretariat of Economy (SE)


To learn more abut USMCA visit


  • Exintex 2021, March 23-26, Puebla, Puebla
  • Expo Producción 2021, March 16-21 Mexico City


For more information on the textiles sector in Mexico, please contact:

Sylvia Montaño

Commercial Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service—Mexico City

Tel.: +52 (55) 5080-2000 ext. 5219