I present novel direct evidence on the static and dynamic impact of producer firms on local suppliers based on several firm level surveys that I conducted among producer firms and suppliers in Nuevo León, Mexico. I find that the level of use of suppliers does not differ between foreign direct investment (FDI) and Mexican producer firms. Next, I find substantial evidence that FDI firms generate a larger local dynamic impact; foreign-owned firms apply more pressure on their suppliers to improve and are also significantly more involved in the provision of several types of technological and organisational support. In extension of these findings, I use multivariate analysis to identify characteristics of suppliers and supply linkages that influence the dynamic impact among suppliers. I find that the level of absorptive capacity of suppliers, the size of the technology gap between producer firms and suppliers, and the provision of support by producer firms all enhance the likelihood that suppliers experience a large positive dynamic impact. Importantly, even when I control for the effects of these factors, suppliers of FDI firms are still significantly more likely to experience a large positive impact. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.