Carstens Won’t Rule Out Keeping Mexico Rates Low After Fed Move

April 20, 2015

4/19/2015 Bloomberg Business

Mexican central bank Governor Agustin Carstens doesn’t rule out keeping interest rates at a record low even after the Federal Reserve begins to tighten, given slow growth and inflation in Latin America’s second-largest economy.

He also said the country will benefit from faster growth in the U.S., and that the peso is undervalued as investors focus on the outlook for higher U.S. rates rather than Mexico’s economic potential.

“All options are open” for monetary policy, Carstens said Sunday in an interview in Washington after the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

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NAFTA, Free Trade and Mexico’s Drug War

April 17, 2015

InSightLogo_main_24bit4/7/2015 InSight Crime

Without providing the slightest evidence, the habitual enemies of free trade have launched a new campaign of lies, insisting that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and “neoliberal” policies in general — which according to them the United States forced Mexico to adopt — are the causes of drug violence.

I read an excerpt from Carmen Boullosa and Mike Wallace’s soon-to-be published book “A Narco History: How the United States andMexico created the ‘Mexican war against drugs.'” The book’s thesis is that NAFTA opened the US’s door to drugs from Mexico, mixing them with legal trade, which is false.

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The top story in Mexico is about a feisty journalist who exposed the first lady’s secret mansion, and lost her job

April 9, 2015

04/08/15 Washington Post

carmen-aristeguiIt’s been nearly a month since Carmen Aristegui, Mexico’s most famous journalist, was fired from her radio program after investigating the first lady’s real estate, but her prominent colleagues have not stopped rallying to her cause. On Wednesday, a group of journalists and academics argued that her firing amounted to violating the rights of the Mexican audience’s access to information, and said they are starting a legal process to try to get her reinstated to her popular morning program.

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New: The Mexico Institute’s 2015 Elections Guide

April 6, 2015

2015Elections_LargeOn June 7th 2015, Mexicans will take to the polls to elect a new cohort of federal deputies. This new generation of politicians will be the first deputies who are eligible for re-election since the Porfiriato system broke apart with the Mexican revolution.   In 2018, federal legislators will be allowed to stand for re-election for up to a total of 12 years, providing a unique opportunity to build caucuses within the congress and hopefully develop a more professional legislative support staff.

In addition to the 500 federal deputies, Mexico will elect 17 state-level legislatures, 9 governors, and more than 300 mayors. This year´s election is also, of course, a litmus test of public opinion regarding the PRI government of President Enrique Peña Nieto. Much has been made of the President´s low public approval rating, but his party remains the most popular in the eyes of the Mexican electorate, with around 32% in a recent poll. If one adds in the support for the PRI´s coalition partner Green Party, that figure quickly approaches 40%, potentially sufficient to give the governing coalition another majority in the Chamber of Deputies.

The Wilson Center´s Mexico Institute is marking this historic election by launching a new web resource that brings the latest polling numbers, analysis and opinion to our readers. The Mexico Institute’s 2015 Elections Guide will be updated daily and will provide a one-stop shop for English language information on the vote.

We hope you enjoy the new resource, and please send us your comments and suggestions so that we can improve the service.

Duncan Wood

Visit the Mexico Institute’s 2015 Elections Guide

Mexican Auto Industry Accelerates in Early 2015

February 12, 2015

02/09/15 Wall Street Journal

iStock_000008876270MediumMexico’s auto industry, which powered a large part of the country’s manufacturing gains last year, got off to a strong start in 2015 by producing 6.8% more cars and light trucks in January than in the same month a year ago, the auto industry association AMIA said Monday.

The increase in output to 266,424 units was supported by a 15% rise in exports to 204,907 units, and a 21% jump in domestic new car sales to 103,697 units.

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What Will Obama & EPN Discuss?

January 5, 2015


By Andrew Selee

mexico-usa-flag-montageOn January 6, Presidents Enrique Peña Nieto and Barack Obama will meet at the White House in Washington to go over several points on the bilateral agenda.  It’s the third visit that Pena Nieto makes to the United States, but his first to Washington, and it follows on two visits that Obama has made to Mexico for presidential discussions.

Both Presidents are facing difficult moments in their domestic agendas.  Pena Nieto for reasons that are well-known, and Obama because he faces the inauguration of a Republican Congress on the same day.  Yet there are at least four issues on the agenda between the Presidents that are critical for both countries.

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Three Keys to Understand the 2015 Budget Debate in Mexico

December 10, 2014

By Christopher Wilson and Pedro Valenzuela

mexican pesosEach fall, Mexico’s Congress debates the adminstration’s budget proposal. It was sent to Congress by the Peña Nieto administration in September, and a final version must be passed no later than the end of October to authorize revenue streams and by November 15 to detail expenditures. This is the first budget debate since Mexico’s 2013 fiscal reform was implemented, offering an important opportunity to analyze the impact of the tax policy changes on public income, and consequently, also on expenditures. The administration’s proposal represents a real increase of 1.2%, which, according to the government, will provide the funds to implement the structural reforms and fund new infrastructure and social programs. As a result of the increased spending and a dip in petroleum revenue, the government will continue to run a deficit, and Mexico’s public debt will continue to grow. Each of these three issues—tax collection, public expenditure, and the national debt—are explored in this article, all in context of Mexico’s structural reforms and brightening yet somewhat volatile economic prospects.

At the time of publication, the revenue proposal, which must be passed by both houses of congress, had been approved by the Chamber of Deputies and was in committee in the Senate. The Senate is expected to move the bill to the floor and approve the final version during the last week of October. The Chamber of Deputies made moderate changes to the executive proposal, including an increase in the expected exchange rate from 13 to 13.4 pesos per U.S. dollar and a drop in the expected reference price for oil from $82 to $81 dollars per barrel. After the ley de ingresos, or revenue law, is passed, attention will turn to the ley de egresos, the budget of expenditures, which only needs to be approved by simple majority in the lower house.

Read the article here.

This article was also published on A shorter, Spanish version of this article is also available.


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