Mexico plots open trade course to escape Trump’s NAFTA threats

12/15/2017 Reuters

flag pictureMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ brand of economic nationalism is pushing Mexico to seek sanctuary in more open commercial ties elsewhere to soften the blow of a possible breakdown of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Trump’s threats to dump NAFTA and his plan to slash corporate taxes have fired debate in Mexico over how to respond, from overhauling its own tax system to increasing land cultivation and even scrapping all tariffs to become a free trade hub.

U.S. exporters may still face tit-for-tat countermeasures if Trump imposes curbs on business with Mexico, but officials say the Latin American country’s ultimate objective is to lower barriers to trade.

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Mexico ups benchmark lending rate ¼-point to 7.25 percent

12/14/2017 Washington Post

financeMEXICO CITY — Mexico’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate a quarter point to 7.25 percent on Thursday to try to rein in inflation that continues to outpace targets.

The Bank of Mexico said in a statement that annual inflation was 6.63 percent in November. It forecast convergence with its 3 percent target to be slower than previously anticipated and said inflation could near that goal around late 2018.

The move came a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked its key interest rate from 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent.

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Ford to Shift Midsize Sedan Production Out of Mexico-Sources

12/13/2017 Reuters

2000px-Ford_Motor_Company_Logo.svg(Reuters) – Ford Motor Co has told suppliers it plans to shift production of midsize Fusion and Mondeo sedans out of Mexico and Spain in 2020 and move it to China, three sources said on Wednesday.

The automaker said it will not ship those cars from China to the United States and Europe.

Ford did not address the future of the plants in Hermosillo, Mexico and Valencia, Spain that currently build midsize sedans for the North American and European markets, respectively.

Ford said last month it would invest more than 750 million euros (£660.8 million) in Valencia to produce a new generation of its Kuga sport utility vehicle.

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Goldman Warns of U.S. Nafta Exit as Negotiators Seek Small Wins

12/11/2017 Bloomberg

flag pictureInvestors remain on alert over the threat of Nafta talks failing even as negotiators meet this week in Washington and seek minor victories on less contentious issues.

The latest meetings to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement will run through Friday, largely out of the spotlight. Cabinet-level officials won’t attend for the second time since negotiations began in August, and the Trump administration is preoccupied with efforts to push through tax cuts by year-end and avoid a government shutdown.

The distractions in Washington haven’t eased pressure on President Donald Trump to preserve the trade deal, which governs more than $1 trillion in annual commerce. Senators who support Nafta warned the president last week of the economic risks of following through on his threat of withdrawal. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said it expects Trump will ultimately announce his intention to exit from the accord and that fresh tensions will probably emerge at the next full negotiating round in January.

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Ford Will Build Electric Cars in Mexico, Shifting Its Plan

12/07/2017 New York Times

cars in trafficAlmost a year ago, after heavy criticism from President-elect Donald J. Trump, Ford Motor Company canceled plans to build a $1.6 billion car plant in Mexico and announced that it would instead equip a Michigan factory to make electric and hybrid models.

Now the automaker is changing its plans again, saying it intends to assemble new battery-powered cars in Mexico, not Michigan. But the Michigan location will get an even larger investment than previously planned and will focus on making a range of self-driving cars.

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Exclusive: Uber’s Chinese Rival Didi Chuxing to Enter Mexico Next Year-Sources

12/07/2017 New York Times

uber2MEXICO CITY/SAN FRANCISCO — Didi Chuxing, China’s ride-hailing behemoth, plans to expand into Mexico next year, intensifying its global rivalry with Uber, according to two sources familiar with the plans.

Didi has spoken before of global ambitions, but has not formally announced where or when it would expand. The Chinese company is the second-most highly valued, venture-backed private firm in the world, after Uber Technologies Inc.

Didi has no cars outside China, meaning Mexico could be its first international operation.

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Walmex Expands Wi-Fi in Mexican Stores, Pushing Online Shopping

12/07/2017 New York Times 

Image result for walmart

MEXICO CITY — Wal-Mart de Mexico said on Thursday that it will install Wi-Fi throughout all but one of its chains in Mexico by next summer, in an attempt to collect user data and drive online sales by familiarizing shoppers with technology.

Walmex, as the retailer is known, will bring the service to every store except warehouse-style Bodega Aurrera Express by mid-2018, said Gaston Wainstein, Walmex’s senior vice president of real estate development.

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