Canada, Mexico urge quick NAFTA talks to end uncertainty

07/20/2017 Reuters

NAFTA_logoWASHINGTON/OTTAWA (Reuters) – Top Canadian and Mexican diplomats expressed optimism on Thursday that a NAFTA deal could be reached early next year and cautioned that widespread uncertainty over the future of the three-way trade agreement had slowed business investment.

Mexican sources say the plan is to hold seven rounds of talks at three-week intervals, a schedule that trade experts warned was aggressive and not easily attainable.

Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Geronimo Gutierrez, said his country wanted to get the negotiations over before a presidential election campaign ramps up next year.

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Mexico marines kill eight suspected gangsters in Mexico City

07/20/2017 Reuters

mexican marinesMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – At least eight suspected gang members died on Thursday in a gun battle with Mexican marines in Mexico City, which has largely been spared the worst of the country’s drug violence.

Mexico’s Navy said in statement that a patrol of marines in Tlahuac, in the southeastern part of the capital, was attacked by suspected gang members, sparking the gunfight. The Navy said that among the dead was Felipe de Jesus Luna, whom it described as the head of a violent criminal organization.

The Navy said the gangsters were suspected of drug dealing, extortion, murder and kidnapping. It did not say if any of the marines were injured.

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WTO better for solving U.S. trade spats than NAFTA tool: Mexico minister

07/20/2017 Reuters

Idelfonso-GuajardoMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s economy minister said on Thursday the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been more effective in resolving U.S. trade disputes than the so-called Chapter 19 mechanism, which the United States hopes to ditch as part of NAFTA talks.

The United States on Monday released its goals for the talks, which aim to update the North American Free Trade Agreement that came into force in 1994.

These included a desire to ditch the Chapter 19 dispute settlement mechanism that has hindered the United States from pursuing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases against Mexican and Canadian firms. Canada has subsequently said it believes the mechanism must be kept as part of the NAFTA update.

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Mexican Hacking Case Deserves Independent Inquiry, U.N. Envoys Say

7/19/2017 The New York Times

united nationsUnited Nations human rights experts called on Mexico’s government on Wednesday to establish an independent investigation into smartphone surveillance of human rights lawyers, journalists and social activists.

The hacking effort, using advanced spyware whose sale is restricted to governments, has generated a furor in Mexico. The attorney general’s office, one of the agencies that acquired the spyware, known as Pegasus, has opened an investigation.

But the Mexican government recently blocked a proposal for the country’s new anticorruption board to investigate the hacking — an inquiry that would have been more transparent than an ordinary criminal investigation.

By limiting the case to the attorney general’s office, the Mexican government is investigating itself with no outside oversight, the four United Nations experts said in a statement from Geneva.

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Tesoro fuel transport via Pemex lines in Mexico could begin in September

7/19/2017 Reuters

gas pipeline and gaugeU.S. refiner Tesoro Corp could begin transporting gasoline and diesel through the pipeline network owned by Mexico’s national oil company Pemex in September, an executive with the Mexican firm said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Tesoro signed three-year contracts with Pemex to use surplus capacity on Pemex pipelines and storage facilities in the northern border states of Baja California and Sonora, capacity won by the U.S. refiner at auction in May.

“Tesoro has to notify Pemex at least 30 days before the arrival of its first cargo, and so this implies that by the beginning of September we would expect to receive the first cargo,” said Ignacio Aguilar, director of Pemex Logistics.

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America Movil sees approval of partial Telmex separation by year-end

07/19/2017 Reuters

The America Movil logo is seen at the reception area in the company's offices in Mexico City
 REUTERS/Henry Romero

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil (AMXL.MX) expects regulatory approval to separate part of its Telmex unit by the end of 2017 or early next year, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) said in March that America Movil, controlled by the Slim family, must separate part of its network infrastructure into a new entity.

The move ratcheted up antitrust measures against America Movil, which has long been dominant in Mexico and is Latin America’s largest telecommunications company by number of subscribers.

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U.S. announces start of NAFTA talks in Washington on Aug. 16

07/19/2017 Reuters

NAFTA_logoWASHINGTON (Reuters) – The first round of talks between the United State, Mexico and Canada on revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement will take place in Washington from Aug. 16-20, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday.

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