The North American Free Trade Agreement (Weintraub, 2004) and lower labour costs in Mexico have caused many US companies to move their operations south of the border. While the majority of the workers in the US-owned plants are Mexican, some of the employees are US workers on temporary expat assignments.
While not randomly selected from a large pool of expat workers, my ten interviewees did hold a variety of jobs. Several of them were managers and engineers. Others in the group included a US Air Force officer, an HR representative, a Director of Research and Development, and a missionary. Two were female and eight were male. For the vast majority of the group this was their first expat assignment and they considered the assignment a means of advancing their careers and providing their families with a rich cultural experience. Half of the workers said that they would be interested in doing another expat assignment in the future.