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16 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2024 We met with Milwaukee Electronics' CEO Jered Stoehr and Vice President of Sales Paul Forker to discuss the evolving dynamics of Mexico's role in global trade, particularly in comparison to China. e recent increase in trade with Mexico, due to the impact of tar- iffs on business opportunities, and the shi of some companies from China to Mexico stemming from factors like cost competi- tiveness and geopolitical risks, have been key to Mexico's position as the number one trade partner with the U.S. e conversation also delves into the importance of workforce skills, company culture, and decision-mak- ing autonomy in selecting a Mexico-based EMS provider. Nolan Johnson: A recent headline read, "Is Mexico the Next China?" How true is this for Milwaukee Electronics? Jered Stoehr: We've been in Mexico since the 1990s, longer than many other CMs. We have two domestic facilities in the U.S. and one in Mexico. Our Mexico customer base has histor- ically been higher volume, but there wasn't a huge gap in the size of the customer with our U.S. facilities back then. More recently, when the tariffs were implemented, things changed significantly. Our Mexico facility is attracting larger customers and opportunities today. It has grown relative to our domestic facilities. In fact, I have a publicly available report from Deloitte 1 about Mexico. It says U.S. trade Where Is the China Business Going? Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007

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