Major automakers urge Trump administration: don’t ditch NAFTA

01/15/2018 Reuters

automobileDETROIT (Reuters) – Global automakers on Monday urged the Trump administration not to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement and expressed hope the United States, Canada and Mexico can successfully conclude a modernized and improved trade pact.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne, who announced last week plans to shift heavy pickup truck production from Mexico to Michigan by 2020, said he hoped the Trump administration would “retune” some of its trade talk demands.

Trump has threatened to withdraw from NAFTA, which is heavily utilized by automakers that have production and supply chains spread across the three countries.

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Game of chicken: GM bets on Mexican-made pickup trucks

01/15/2018 Reuters

automobileSILAO, Mexico/DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co’s (GM.N) assembly plant in Silao, a city in Mexico’s automotive heartland, cranked out more than 400,000 highly profitable, large pickup trucks last year, and is critical to the launch of a new generation of Chevrolet Silverado trucks later this year.

Now, GM’s Silao factory, and the profit it generates, are at risk.

If U.S. President Donald Trump follows up on threats to dump the North American Free Trade Agreement, pickup trucks built at Silao and shipped to the United States could be hit with a 25 percent tariff, known in the auto industry as the “chicken tax.”

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Nafta Trio to Gather in Davos as Negotiations Resume in Canada

01/15/2018 Bloomberg

flag pictureThe three ministers leading negotiations to revamp Nafta will get two chances for face-to-face talks this month, including one near the slopes of Davos.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland are due to attend the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, which begins on Jan. 23, the same day the sixth round of North American Free Trade Agreement talks get underway across the Atlantic in Montreal.

Freeland expects to raise the subject of Nafta informally on the sidelines of Davos, spokesman Alex Lawrence said in a statement. The three ministers are also tentatively scheduled to hold a trilateral meeting in Montreal on Jan. 28, he said. The ministers didn’t attend the last two negotiating sessions in Mexico and Washington, after attending previous rounds.

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Port of Lazaro Cardenas tenders fuel terminal project on Mexico’s Pacific Coast

01/15/2018 S&P Global

shalegasMexico City (Platts)–The federally administrated Port of Lazaro Cardenas is holding the first public tender to build a fuel terminal project on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, the port’s planning director, Jaime Ramirez Jaime, said Monday.

The port authority expects a dozen companies to participate in the process, receiving proposals on February 2. The winning bid will be announced in early March, Ramirez said in an interview.

The new facility is expected to be operational within 24 months.

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1.  Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, the Mexican Interior Minister, announced his resignation on Wednesday. Osorio Chong seeks to run as an Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate for the Mexican Senate. President Peña Nieto named Alfonso Navarrete to lead the Ministry of the Interior.

Read more: Excelsior, El Universal, Jornada, Milenio

2.  Javier Corral, the governor of Chihuahua, claimed that the federal government withheld approximately $4 million USD, funds aimed to ease the state’s budget crisis. Yet, Governor Corral insists that it is a retaliation tactic that aimed to close corruption investigations involving several members of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto denied Governor Corral’s accusations and reiterated his commitment to “support and coordinate with all [state] governments, regardless of their party origin.”

Read more: Proceso, El Universal, Excelsior, Milenio

3. Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with USTR Robert Lighthizer and U.S. legislators to discuss the progress of the on-going NAFTA negotiations. The Mexican peso and stock market plummet amidst the uncertainty of the negotiations. The sixth round of the renegotiation talks will take place from January 23-28, 2018 in Montreal, Canada.

Read more: El Financiero, El Universal, Milenio, Reforma

4.  The National Action Party (PAN), Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and the Citizens’ Movement (MC) were approved to form a partial coalition in the state of Mexico for the 2018 election. There are 236 federal, state, and local offices up for election in the state. January 13th is the last day candidacy coalitions can register in the states of Aguascalientes, Campeche, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas.

Read more: Excelsior, El Universal, Milenio, El Financiero

Mexico will never pay for Trump wall: Mexican economy minister

01/11/2018 Reuters

US-Mexico_border_fenceMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico has made clear it will never pay for President Donald Trump’s planned southern border wall, the country’s economy minister said on Thursday, after the U.S. leader again insisted he would make Mexico pay for the barrier.

“The President of Mexico (Enrique Pena Nieto) has been very clear: Mexico will never pay for this wall,” Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo wrote on Twitter after a day of meetings in Washington.

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Mexican president says ‘optimistic’ about NAFTA deal

01/11/2018 Reuters

A US cable claimed Televisa gave the Mexico State governor Enrique Peña Nieto wide coverageMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Thursday he is optimistic that the United States, Mexico and Canada can successfully renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the mutual benefit of the three countries.