Mexican state in Trump firing line says U.S. investment holding up

6/8/2017 Reuters

nuevo_leonAmerican investment has stayed steady in a Mexican state that was one of the first to suffer at the hands of U.S. President Donald Trump’s drive to bring back jobs from Mexico, the region’s economy minister said on Thursday.

Just a few weeks after his election in November, Trump announced he had struck a deal to stop about 1,000 jobs at U.S. manufacturer Carrier from being moved to its Mexican operations in the industrial state of Nuevo Leon, which borders Texas.

Soon afterward, carmaker Ford canceled a planned $1.6 billion plant in central Mexico, causing widespread alarm that Trump’s interventions and threats to tear up the NAFTA trade agreement would lead to a collapse in investment in Mexico.

But Fernando Turner, the economy minister of Nuevo Leon, said U.S. companies still were committed to the state and that there had been no slowdown in investment by them because they understand the benefits of Mexico better than Trump does.

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Trump just might be giving us the opportunity to make NAFTA even stronger

6/7/2017 Dallas News

By Alan Bersin, Mexico Institute Global Fellow and Former Commissioner, U.S. CBP

Donald Trump’s campaign, when it turned to issues, focused on migration, borders and trade. Characteristic of populist crusades, it zeroed in on foreigners to explain this country’s purported loss of greatness. Mexico and Mexicans were targeted with particular venom: NAFTA was the worst trade deal ever, Mexican migrants were rapists and thugs, and only a big wall could ensure our border security. In office, the administration’s initial policy pronouncements tracked the rhetoric: NAFTA will be scrapped, undocumented migrants will be deported and the wall will be built.

Two months into governing, the new administration’s messages remain mixed, but talk has turned from abject negation of the North American Free Trade Agreement to likely renegotiation with a decidedly positive focus on competitiveness. The realities of the complex, symbiotic U.S.-Mexican relationship have begun to assert themselves: We don’t trade with one another so much as make things together, and both countries protect themselves through shared perimeter security systems that won’t work absent trust and confidence between officials on both sides of the border.

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Exclusive: Mexico owes Canada miners over $360 million, led by Goldcorp – documents

6/8/2017 Reuters 

goldMexico’s tax agency is holding over $360 million in tax rebates owed to six Canadian miners, including $230 million to Goldcorp Inc, according to sources and official documents seen by Reuters, escalating the situation into a showdown between the Mexican government and Canadian mining firms operating there.

In a string of meetings, Canadian officials have pressed Mexico to fix the problem, which hamstrings mining companies’ ability to invest in operations and is particularly difficult for smaller, cash-strapped miners and explorers, people familiar with the matter said.

Vancouver-based Goldcorp declined to comment on its outstanding refund, which represents 142 percent of its 2016 net profit and 6 percent of its full-year revenue.

Goldcorp, the world’s No. 3 gold miner by market value, is owed the largest amount, according to documents seen by Reuters, followed by Torex Gold Resources, a small, Toronto-based miner which began commercial production at its Mexico mine last year and is waiting on a refund of some $66.5 million.

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Mexico sugar lobby says still wants dumping probe of U.S. fructose

6/7/2017 Reuters

Flickr/Coralie Ferreira

Mexican sugar producers still want an investigation into suspected dumping in Mexico by U.S. fructose producers even after a U.S.-Mexico deal on access to the U.S. market for Mexican sugar, the head of the Mexican sugar industry group said on Wednesday.

The sugar lobby last month said it had asked the Mexican economy ministry to investigate U.S. high fructose corn syrup imports, saying there was “solid” evidence of dumping.

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U.S., Mexico reach sugar pact despite U.S. producer resistance

6/6/2017 Reuters

Workers sit next to bags containing sugar at the San Francisco Ameca sugar factory in the town of Ameca
REUTERS/Alejandro Acosta/Files

Mexico on Tuesday conceded to U.S. demands for changes in the terms of Mexican access to the lucrative U.S. sugar market, striking a deal with Washington that will likely lift prices of the sweetener to U.S. food processors and consumers.

Sugar producers in the United States refused to endorse the agreement in principle between the two governments after pushing for even more concessions from Mexico, raising the possibility that the deal could collapse.

The agreement in principle between U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo aims to resolve a long-standing trade dispute between the two countries.

Without it, the United States could have reimposed steep import duties on its southern neigbour and risked the prospect of a retaliation from Mexico just as the two countries and Canada prepare to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement this year.

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Mexico auto production, exports post robust growth in May

6/6/2017 Nasdaq

automobileMEXICO CITY, June 6 (Reuters) – Mexican auto production and exports rose sharply in May, the Mexican Auto Industry Association (AMIA) said on Tuesday, in a fresh sign the sector has so far coped with threats of punitive import tariffs from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Compared with a year earlier, Mexican auto output jumped in May by 17.3 percent to 327,832 vehicles, while exports climbed by 13.9 percent to 257,736 units, AMIA said in a statement.

The industry has grown rapidly in the last few years. Trump has threatened to slap hefty tariffs on vehicles made in Mexico exported to the United States, arguing that cheaper competition from south of the border has cost U.S. jobs.

Trump’s threats to begin a tariff war with Mexico helped send the country’s peso currency <MXN=> to a record low in January. However, since then, his administration has generally taken a more conciliatory tone, and the currency has recovered.

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Tycoon Carlos Slim’s Company Wants To Replace Mexico City’s Air Polluting Taxis With Electric Cars

6/5/2017 Forbes

Mexico-pollutionIn the midst of one of Mexico City’s worst air pollution crises in recent years, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu’s Giant Motors said it wants the prototype electric car it has been developing to replace pollution-belching cabs in the Western Hemisphere’s second largest metropolitan area.

“We’re developing the prototypes and hope to finish them this year to find a viable solution, an electric vehicle, that genuinely replaces gasoline-using cars,” Elias Massri, Giant Motors CEO for Latin America, told Reuters.

In February, Massir announced for the first time that Giant Motors, which is controlled by Slim’s financial services conglomerate Inbursa, was in the process of manufacturing a made-in-Mexico electric vehicle with plans to launch it commercially next year. Designed by Giant Motors, the vehicle will be manufactured in a joint venture with Moldex, a subsidiary of Grupo Bimbo, a Mexico-based multinational and the world’s largest bread maker.

“The peculiar challenge with taxis in Mexico City is that they often ride around with no passengers, looking for a fare,” said Massri. That means the electric taxis need to have fast-charging batteries that can last, he added, according to Reuters.