May 9, 2013
Mexico congratulated Brazilian diplomat Roberto Azevedo for his victory in the race to lead the World Trade Organization, confirming the defeat of its candidate, former Mexican trade chief Herminio Blanco. Mexico’s economy ministry said that, according to the three ambassadors in charge of leading the election process, Azevedo was “the candidate favored by the WTO membership” and that Blanco called him to “express his full support in his new post.”
“Mexico congratulates Ambassador Roberto Azevedo for his election,” the ministry said in a statement. Diplomats said earlier that Azevedo, Brazil’s ambassador to the 159-nation organization, narrowly defeated Blanco in the final round of voting in the closed-door contest. Seven other candidates had been eliminated in earlier rounds.
May 7, 2013
Latin America’s two largest nations are vying for economic and diplomatic clout as their candidates face off as finalists to head the World Trade Organization. The WTO is scheduled to name by May 8 the first director- general from Latin America in its 18-year history. It will choose between Roberto Azevedo, Brazil (BZGDGDP4)’s representative to the Geneva-based group, and Herminio Blanco, a former Mexico trade minister who led the nation’s negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and Canada. The winner will replace the outgoing WTO chief, France’s Pascal Lamy, in September.
The race is a contest for diplomatic prowess as Mexico draws on its faster growth and more open economy to fortify its candidate, said Michael Shifter, president of Inter-American Dialogue in Washington. Analysts polled by Bloomberg forecast Mexico will outgrow its southern peer for the third straight year in 2013, reversing a trend that allowed Brazil to pull ahead as the region’s largest market in 2005. “There’s rivalry and competition there,” Shifter said by telephone from Washington. “Mexico is feeling very confident. As they seek to gain more international clout, Brazil is on their mind.”
April 26, 2013
The next head of the World Trade Organization will be either Mexico’s Herminio Blanco or Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo, guaranteeing a Latin American nation will hold the top job at the global trade body for the first time. Blanco and Azevedo emerged as the only candidates remaining after the second of three rounds of competition to succeed Pascal Lamy on Sept 1, a diplomatic source said on Thursday.
The winner, who will emerge by the end of May, faces a huge challenge of restoring confidence in the WTO’s ability to negotiate a global trade deal. The job confers little executive power, forcing the holder to rely on diplomacy, wit and persuasion. Azevedo is Brazil’s ambassador to the WTO and Blanco is a veteran trade negotiator who led Mexico in the NAFTA free trade talks.
April 24, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 4/24/13
The world’s most important trade body needs a major shake-up in leadership to revive the long-dormant Doha round of global trade talks or else it will become irrelevant among newer, fleeter free-trade agreements, said Herminio Blanco, one of the candidates to take over the World Trade Organization.
Mr. Blanco, who was Mexico’s chief negotiator to create the landmark North American Free Trade Agreement and represented Mexico in the last successful global trade round that created the WTO two decades ago, told The Wall Street Journal in a recent interview that the WTO risked becoming a simple referee of its increasingly outdated rules rather than leading global trade.
August 28, 2012
“The government of Mexico reiterates its deep worry over the protectionist measures that Argentina is applying, as well as practices that lack transparency and affect trade between our two nations and generate uncertainty,” Mexico’s Economy Ministry said in a statement.
It said Argentina and Mexico should hold consultations over the next 30 days to try and find a mutually acceptable way out. It could ask the WTO to set up a panel to adjudicate if there is no resolution within 60 days, it said…
Mexico exported almost $2 billion in goods to Argentina last year, double the amount of trade coming the other way. But after Argentina introduced new import hurdles in February, trade has taken a knock. In June, the latest month for which data is available, Mexico exported goods worth $111 million to Argentina, down nearly 40 percent from 2011.
December 12, 2011
Camisas deportivas, velas, bicicletas, hilos de poliéster, suéteres, tenis, zapatos tipo industrial y licuadoras, entre 204 productos diferentes, producidos en China podrán entrar a México desde hoy sin pagar ninguna medida remedial.
Hasta este día, y luego de 4 años en las que estos artículos estuvieron protegidos por medidas de transición luego de un esquema de cuotas compensatorias que duró otros seis años, los productos pagaban una cuota adicional ad valorem de 25 por ciento en el caso más bajo y hasta de 350 por ciento en el más alto. Read more…
The Mexico Institute’s Christopher Wilson commented on this topic in the latest edition of the Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin America Advisor:
Since joining the WTO, China’s share of Mexican imports rose from 2% in 2001 to 15% in September of 2011. Expect this trend to continue when Mexico’s tariffs on 204 products drop to most-favored-nation rates this month, making Chinese imports of those goods significantly cheaper. The vast majority of affected products are consumer goods like clothing, shoes and toys. For these, consumers are likely to benefit from lower prices while manufacturers are challenged to either increase productivity or go out of business. There is little doubt that Mexico’s footwear industry, in particular, will be significantly weakened. A few of the affected products are intermediate goods, such as chemicals, fabrics, and mechanical parts. Reducing tariffs on these goods will challenge their domestic producers, but should also decrease costs for manufacturers using them as inputs. Although Chinese exports probably benefit from a certain degree of artificial and unfair advantage, Chinese manufacturers of goods like garments and shoes also tend to outcompete their Mexican counterparts. Mexico must take measures to increase productivity, shift to higher-skill industries, and engage rather than shy away from the rising Asian economies. Finally, the lower tariffs may also have a positive side effect, working as a disincentive to the tariff evading techniques, such as incorrectly classifying goods or sending them through third countries, that are used by some Chinese exporters.
July 19, 2011
The World Trade Organization has ruled in favor of Mexico in a more than 20-year old dispute with the United States over tuna trade, a high-ranking source close to the negotiations told Reuters.
The WTO’s decision lifts restrictions for Mexico to ship its tuna to the United States.
December 3, 2009
El Economista, 12/3/09
Twenty two developing countries, among them Mexico, finalized a framework agreement to reduce 20% of their tariffs on 70% of products that they traded among them, the text of which will be finalized no later than September 2010, before its entry into force.
The deal was agreed upon as part of the Seventh Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which concluded yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland, and in which Gerardo Ruiz, economy secretary, confirmed that the government of Mexico will continue in its process unilateral opening.