Mexico says auto factories to reopen with virus safeguards

The Mexican government says it plans to reopen automotive factories in conjunction with the United States and Canada

MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican government said Friday it plans to reopen automotive factories in conjunction with the United States and Canada.

Mexico's border assembly plants are key to the U.S. supply chain, including defense contractors, and more employees at the facilities have staged walkouts and protests because of fears over the coronavirus.

Christopher Landau, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, launched a Twitter campaign Tuesday urging efforts to keep supply chains intact.

He expressed concern about virus lockdowns damaging the flow of parts and goods that feed businesses in the United States, Mexico and Canada and warned that “if we do not coordinate our response, these chains can evaporate.”

“There are risks everywhere, but we don’t all stay at home for fear we are going to get in a car accident,” Landau wrote. “The destruction of the economy is also a health threat.”

Ellen Lord, U.S. undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, had voiced similar concerns Monday in Washington.

“We are seeing impacts on the industrial base by several pockets of closure internationally. Particularly of note is Mexico, where we have a group of companies that are impacting many of our major primes,” she said.