New Mexico is experiencing the perfect storm:
• Crashing oil prices; a global pandemic that is hammering our state’s tourism and hospitality industries;
• A much-needed social distancing mandate that by necessity keeps people in their homes and not spending money, which in turn greatly reduces gross receipts taxes that fund our state and city operations;
• Huge job losses that in turn will create unprecedented unemployment and impact the lives of thousands of New Mexicans.
Our state has gone from riding on top of the wave to getting crushed by events and circumstances beyond our control. Nobody could have seen this coming, but it should serve as a wake-up call for our state’s businesses, nonprofits and government entities that business-as-usual will not work in the future, and that there will be a “new normal.” So that is today’s grand challenge – trying to figure out what the new normal might look like and how New Mexico can begin to position itself now.
It is clear that New Mexico needs a 21st century business plan. The thinking of the past is not sustainable and will not meet the needs of current and future New Mexicans. The global pandemic has exposed the serious vulnerability of the United States to supply chain interruptions and the impact to critical infrastructure, particularly in pharma, personal protective equipment and medical devices. For example, more than 90% of all antibacterial drugs are manufactured in China and over 70% of active pharmaceutical ingredients are made in China and India. Other industries impacted are apparel, automotive, aerospace and manufactured goods and products of all kinds. Will these identified “vulnerabilities” bring businesses and manufacturing back to the United States? My hunch is yes. The re-shoring trend of industry back to the United States, in combination with advanced manufacturing, robotics, artificial intelligence, big data and 5G, are going to create the next industrial revolution 4.0. New Mexico’s 24/7/365 days of production, our state’s lack of extreme weather and natural disasters, our low cost of renewable energy and our strategic location along major east-west and north-south trade routes could influence where manufacturing re-shores to the United States.