Comments to the United States Department of Commerce regarding the U.S.‐Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED)

January 10, 2014

Duncan Wood

Mexico Institute Director Duncan Wood and Associate Christopher Wilson responded to the U.S. Department of Commerce Federal Register Notice published on November 25, 2013, which requested stakeholder input on the U.S.‐Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED)

In their comments, they noted that Mexico and the United States share an economic space and an economic future, and that the HLED is an important and potentially fruitful element in moving that future forward and maximizing the benefits for both countries. They stated that it should be both consolidated through high‐level engagement and institutionalization, and broadened to include a greater dialogue with the private sector and civil society and an expanded focus on border affairs.

Read their testimony here.


The Rise Of Mexican Intellect And The United States: Opponents Or Partners? Op Ed

December 12, 2013

Expert Take

By Alejandro Chaufen

Forbes, 12/11/2013

In his 2009 book, “The Next 100 Years,” George Friedman, the founder of Stratfor, wrote that by the end of the century Mexico will be the main power challenging the U.S. With $500 billion in trade with the U.S. (up from $75 billion two decades ago), with Mexicans spending twice as much on U.S. products as the Chinese, with over 33 million U.S. residents of Mexican origin, with the most frequently crossed international border in the world, it would be irresponsible to wait until the end of the century to pay attention to Mexico.

Read more…


Former Mexican governor indicted by U.S. on drug trafficking charges

December 9, 2013

handcuffsThe Los Angeles Times, 12/6/2013

He allegedly raked in millions of dollars to give drug traffickers easy access to the United States. The cocaine flowed north, prosecutors say, and the money in his pocket bought him elegant houses and a couple of private jets.

Tomas Yarrington, former governor of the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas, has been indicted by U.S. federal prosecutors on a host of drug-trafficking, money-laundering and racketeering charges.

Read more…


Mexico Cholera Outbreak Less than 250 Miles from US Border

October 29, 2013

DOT map of Us-mexico-borderThe International Business Times, 10/29/2013

The outbreak of cholera in Mexico is creeping ever closer to the US border, with five cases confirmed in an area that is less than 250 miles from the Texas border.

The Ministry of Health in Mexico has reported five cases around La Huasteca, an area covering the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Puebla, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, and Guanajuato.

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Mexican reform legislation, a model for the U.S. – Op Ed

October 24, 2013

mexico-usa-flag-montageThe Hill, 10/24/2013

If U.S. officials wanted to learn how government can operate well in modern times, all they need to do is look south. Mexico’s executive and legislative leaders are demonstrating how bipartisan cooperation can make great progress for the benefit of their people.

After enacting major reforms in telecom, broadcasting, education, labor relations and the governance of public institutions earlier this year, the Mexican Congress is now moving to reform its fiscal and energy laws. The combination is a model of progressive legislating that, in the end, will undoubtedly improve Mexico’s economic competitiveness.

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US debt ceiling: the wary view from Mexico

October 8, 2013

dollarThe Christian Science Monitor, 10/07/2013

For an institution often associated with scandal and shenanigans, Mexico’s Congress always approves its annual budget – and on time.

Mexico’s lower house of Congress has been debating part of its 2014 budget, which the conservative opposition alleges will kill the middle class with proposed tax increases on everything from their incomes to pet food to private school tuition.

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Mexico: foreign investors staying put?

July 9, 2013

asian currencyFinancial Times, 7/8/2013

Even before Ben Bernanke hinted back in May that the US Federal Reserve could soon start scaling back its massive bond-buying programme, Mexican bonds were feeling the pinch. From 3.9 per cent in late April, yields on the country’s most-traded dollar-denominated bond, the so-called M24, rose by as much as 160bp before settling at 5.18 per cent – or 128.7bp higher – at the end of last week. But is this really a Fed effect?

It would be easy to attribute the sudden rise in yields to foreign investors selling off emerging market assets as they worry about the end of QE. But the reality is more complex. Data from Banco de México, the central bank, show that foreigners held their Mexican bond positions pretty steady over the past couple of months. In late May, for example, they owned $93bn in government bonds. As of June 25, the amount of bonds held in foreign hands was $80bn, a decline of 14 per cent. Looked at another way, the amount of Mexican bonds being held by foreign investors is still some 6.4 per cent higher than the $75.2bn they held at the end of December 2012.

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US gas exports give Mexico competitive edge over other countries

July 2, 2013

gas pipeline in green fieldFinancial Times, 7/1/2013

The US shale gas boom is shaping up to be an important competitive advantage for manufacturers – in Mexico. US natural gas exports to Mexico hit a record last year, helping hold down the country’s energy costs as its industry grew rapidly. Planned new pipelines that will enable further rapid growth in imports from the US will strengthen and lock in that advantage, and help to give Mexico a competitive edge over other emerging economies for as long as North American shale production remains strong.

China’s manufacturing labour costs overtook Mexico’s last year because of its high rates of wage inflation, and its energy costs are also significantly higher. By 2015, China’s total manufacturing costs will be about 95 per cent of US levels, with gas contributing about 4 percentage points of that, while Mexico’s will be just 89 per cent, with gas at just 1 percentage point, according to new research from the Boston Consulting Group. Mexico’s industrial output has been falling this year, but its lower costs and proximity to the US, which reduces transport costs and increases flexibility, will make it increasingly competitive as a manufacturing location, analysts say.

Read more…


Mexico’s Growing Cost Advantage Over China, Other Economies Will Boost Its Exports — and U.S. Manufacturers

June 28, 2013

mexico-chinaThe Wall Street Journal, 6/28/2013

Within five years, higher manufacturing exports due to a widening cost advantage over China and other major economies could add $20 billion to $60 billion in output to Mexico’s economy annually. And thanks to the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), U.S. manufacturers of components for everything from automobiles to computers assembled in Mexico also stand to benefit, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The key drivers of Mexico’s improving competitive edge are relatively low labor costs and shorter supply chains due to the country’s proximity to markets in the U.S. Another important advantage is that Mexico has 44 free-trade agreements — more than any other nation — allowing many of its exports to enter major economies with few or no duties.

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Mexico’s Tech Startups Look To Overcome Barriers To Growth

June 19, 2013

blank tabletNPR, 6/18/2013

In the past decade, Mexico’s tech industry has flourished, growing three times faster than the global average. Most of that growth has been fueled by demand from the United States. But as Mexico’s startups strive to make it in foreign markets, they say they need more engineers and ways to finance their growth.

Softek, Mexico’s biggest technology services company, spans four continents and provides software support to a client base that includes Fortune 500 companies. The business sector is growing rapidly in Mexico, thanks in large part to the country’s proximity to the United States. “I think it’s safe to say that without the U.S., the Mexico market would not be doing very well,” says Morgan Yeates, an analyst with the IT consulting firm Gartner.

Read more…


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