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10 popular products in the US you didn't know were made in Mexico

The U.S.-Mexico border, outside Laredo, Texas.
Rick Wilking | Reuters

The proposed 20 percent tariff on Mexican imports will almost certainly impact American wallets if it's passed, but that impact may be on products that will surprise you. While staples like fruit, vegetables and beer, all among the chief products our neighbor to the South sends our way, have been widely discussed, there are a number of other everyday products that could be impacted.

Mexico is a manufacturing hub that many companies use extensively. And should the tax be approved, it could boost those costs, unless corporations adjust their distribution lines or relocate their plants.

Here's a list of some of the products and brands that depend, at least partially, on Mexico to get their goods out to consumers around the world.


Colgate-Palmolive's Colgate Total brand toothpaste
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Not all toothpastes are manufactured in Mexico. It really depends on the brand you prefer — and even then, they're often made at several different plants around the world.

Some, though, like Procter & Gamble's Kid's Crest Cavity Prevention and Colgate Cavity Prevention, can originate south of the border. Procter & Gamble has several manufacturing plants in Mexico — and in 2011 spent $250 million to build an enormous facility in the central part of the country, where it makes Gillette razors and razor blades.

Gulfstream and Lear jets

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Component production for vehicles is one of Mexico's biggest imports. That's largely targeted at the automotive industry, but both Gulfstream and Lear produce parts for planes there.

Gulfstream has a Gulfstream facility in Mexicali. And in 2011, Lear began making the Learjet 85 in Querétaro.

Flat screen TVs

PhotoTalk | Getty Images

While the conception and design of your HDTV may have taken place in Asia or the United States, it's a fairly good bet that Mexico played a part in either the manufacturing of the set or some of the components.

Tijuana has seen its electronics industry boom as costs have climbed in countries like Japan and Korea. In 2013, Samsung opened a Center for Digital Research and Technological Development in the city. And in 2015, Vizio moved its manufacturing hub to Tijuana from Asia.

Cars and trucks

Dodge Ram pickup trucks are offered for sale at a dealership in Chicago, Illinois.
Getty Images

The U.S. auto industry is intertwined with the Mexican economy in a big way. Manufacturing takes a bigger piece of the spotlight in the current debate — with $19.3 billion in passenger vehicles and another $23.5 billion in trucks in the first 10 months of 2016. Among popular brands made south of the border are the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram and Ford Fusion.

The real focus, though, should be on vehicle parts. In that same 10-month period, automotive vehicle and parts imports from Mexico totaled $89.6 billion, more than twice the amount imported from Japan.


Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The tires on your car could have come from any of several manufacturing plants around the world. In a 2015 study, Consumer Reports noted that it tested tires from Pirelli — a company that has firm Italian roots — that were made in Mexico and Russia.

Mexico, in fact, was the third-largest manufacturer of the tires tested. The magazine noted, however, that no country appeared to produce a tire that was better performing than those made in other countries.

Bose speakers

Bose SoundTouch 10
Source: Bose

Known for its high-quality speakers and headphones, this Massachusetts-based company manufactures its products in one of four plants, two of which are located in Mexico. It owns the one in Tijuana and works with another, in San Luis Río Colorado, near the Arizona border.

Printer ink

Education Images | UIG | Getty Images

Like many products, printer ink is made all over the world, including China, Brazil and the United States. Mexico, however, is one of the fastest-growing regions for the printer-ink industry and the second biggest in Latin America.

Sanchez SA de CV is the country's largest ink manufacturer, supplying not just home printers but other industries, including newspapers.

Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster
James Fraher | Redferns | Getty Images

It's part of the backbone of rock and roll music, but the Stratocaster you see musicians wailing on might not have originated in the United States. Fender actually makes two models of the special guitar: the MIM (Made in Mexico) and MIA (Made in America).

This is one of those situations where consumers are easily able to vote with their wallets for the version they prefer. The American-made models are said to be higher quality, but they also cost nearly twice as much as their Mexican-made counterparts.


Corona beer, owned by Constellation Brands.
Getty Images

How important is Mexico to beer lovers? Nearly two-thirds of the beer imported into the United States comes from the country, according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association. It could also have a major impact on beer powerhouses.

Constellation Brands, the largest beer importer in the United States, includes Corona, Modelo and Pacifico in its portfolio. Heineken, which makes Dos Equis and Tecate, could also suffer.


Susana Gonzalez | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The wall along the Mexican border is going to need a lot of cement — and ironically, one of the top cement manufacturers in the world hails from that very same country. Cemex SAB (CX) is ranked as North America's second-largest concrete producer.

Founded in Mexico in 1906, the company has a market cap of $13.35 billion and has U.S. headquarters in Houston.