Prospects for Improving Canada’s Relations with Mexico

October 6, 2014

9/25/14 Hudson Institute

NAFTAChristopher Sands, Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute testified in from of the Senate of Canada Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade where he addresses why the Canadian relationship with Mexico matters to all three NAFTA countries.

To read his testimony please click here.



Twenty years after NAFTA, a mini Detroit rises in Mexico

September 29, 2014

09/25/14 Bridge

iStock_000008876270Medium“The auto industry in Mexico is just booming, it’s taking off right now and it´s probably the industry in which Mexico is the most competitive,” said Christopher Wilson, a senior associate with the Mexico Center at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Wilson and others say Mexico’s ascension is a combination of low labor costs, a shift to an export-based economy in which 80 percent of vehicles produced in Mexico go to the powerful U.S. market, a well-defined NAFTA corridor, and modern factories that are more efficient and safe. An influx of banks has provided workers with greater access to credit.

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NAFTA: Necessary to Cement Mexico’s Economic Reforms but Not Sufficient for Growth

March 19, 2014

NAFTAAmerica’s Trade Policy and the Woodrow Wilson Center, 03/18/14

Mexico has been an independent nation for over 200 years now and we Mexicans have seen everything: periods of light and periods of darkness, eras of growth and stages of crises, times of peace and times of violence, moments of optimism and ill-fated intervals. There have also been innumerable grandiose plans, the majority of which end up supplying nearly always the poorest of results. Mistrust in the government is not recent nor is it the product of chance.


CERAWEEK-Mexico to be rival oil, gas supplier to US -Canada minister

March 5, 2014

energy -drilling_platform_in_seaReuters, 3/4/14

Mexico’s energy reform initiative will spark competition with Canada in terms of supplying the United States with oil and natural gas, further fueling the major oil producer’s efforts to diversify export markets, Canada’s minister of natural resources said on Tuesday. “There’s no question that Mexico has embarked on a bold move,” Joe Oliver, Canada’s natural resources minister, told reporters at the annual IHS CERAweek energy conference in Houston.

“They will emerge as another player. We’re focusing on diversifying our market, so that’s perhaps yet another reason to do that. Well, in fact it is,” he said. Last December Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto signed into law a sweeping energy reform that ends the 75-year monopoly state-owned oil company Pemex held on oil and gas production. Nieto is making the case that Mexico is open for business, underscored by energy reform, the hallmark of his 14-month-old government.

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Mexico opens up to foreign investment

February 24, 2014

NAFTAThe Globe and Mail, 2/22/14

Mexico is being touted as a new frontier for Canada’s oil and gas industry as its government opens the energy sector to foreign investment for the first time in more than 70 years. During a three-day visit to Mexico City and Toluca last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver spoke enthusiastically about new opportunities for Canadian firms. Mr. Harper was in the country for a North American leaders summit with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and U.S. President Barack Obama.

Once the new rules are in force, foreign and domestic companies should be free to bid on contracts and licences, breaking a decades-old monopoly by Pemex, the state-owned petroleum company. The move is aimed at encouraging investment by firms that will be better equipped to tap Mexico’s substantial oil and gas reserves and turn around 10 years of decline.

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Opinion Piece in Excelsior: Toluca: se necesita una visión a futuro

February 19, 2014

NAFTAExcelsior, 2/19/14

Esta semana la Cumbre de Líderes de América del Norte ofrecerá un contraste fascinante entre una relación bilateral muy saludable (México-Estados Unidos), una que es fuerte, pero sometida a tensiones temporales (Canadá-Estados Unidos), y una que es decididamente helada (Canadá-México). Este contraste será especialmente evidente porque el primer ministro Harper y el presidente Peña Nieto habrán terminado una reunión bilateral en la que el tema central será el visado canadiense para ciudadanos mexicanos, tema que además promete complicar el progreso en otros asuntos.

El éxito tiene muchos padres, mientras que el fracaso es huérfano. México es actualmente una historia de éxito con la que el presidente Obama quiere ser asociado, por lo que deberíamos esperar a ver la relación México-Estados Unidos al frente y al centro en Toluca, mientras que Canadá adoptará un perfil más bajo debido a la cuestión de las visas con México y las tensiones del oleoducto Keystone XL con Estados Unidos.

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Read our latest publication “Is Geography Destiny? A Primer on North American Relations,” here.

Harper stands firm on Mexico visa restrictions on eve of trilateral talks with U.S.

February 19, 2014

Photo by Flickr user I.A.M.The Globe and Mail, 2/18/14

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he has no plans to lift the controversial visa restrictions for Mexican travellers and took issue with the trade imbalance between Canada and Mexico, setting a chilly tone ahead of trilateral talks with the United States.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto publicly raised the question of the travel restrictions, forcing the Prime Minister to make it clear that Ottawa has no plans to change the rules. The President’s comments brought an undercurrent of tension to the fore as the two leaders concluded an afternoon of bilateral talks in Mexico City on Tuesday. They will be joined by U.S. President Barack Obama in Toluca on Wednesday for a trilateral summit that is expected to focus on trade, energy and security issues in North America.

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