Mexico inflation eases less than expected in early July

7/24/2017 Reuters

carstensMexico’s annual inflation rate eased less than expected in the first half of July, data showed on Monday, but still lent weight to the central bank’s view that price pressures in Latin America’s second biggest economy may be peaking.

Annual inflation slowed to 6.28 percent from 6.33 percent in the second half of June, figures from the national statistics institute INEGI showed. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a rate of 6.23 percent.

Consumer prices rose 0.24 percent during the first half of July compared with the previous two-week period, slightly above the poll forecast for an increase of 0.19 percent.

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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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Mexico minister expresses concern over U.S. talk of deficits in NAFTA goals

07/18/2017 Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s economy minister Idelfonso-Guajardo said on Tuesday he was concerned that the United States was still insisting on reducing trade deficits in the objectives it set out for the renegotiation of the NAFTA trade deal on Monday.

Speaking on Mexican television by phone from Japan, Guajardo likened what he called the U.S. “insistence” on cutting its trade deficits with its NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada to a somewhat “mercantilist” vision of international trade.

“What I have said insistently in my conversations with my colleagues is that we’re delighted to review trade balances provided that we focus on how to improve them by expanding commerce, not by reducing it,” Guajardo said.

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Mexico welcomes U.S. NAFTA objectives, eyes stronger North America

July 17, 2017 Reuters

NAFTA_logoMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s government on Monday said it would work to strengthen the North American economy after the United States published its objectives for the renegotiation of the NAFTA trade deal, which one Mexican official described as “not as bad” as feared.

In a statement, the Mexican economy ministry said it expected talks between the United States, Mexico and Canada on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to be able to get under way from Aug. 16.

For now, Mexico would continue with domestic consultations on the revamp of the accord until early August, it added.

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U.S. outlines NAFTA objectives, includes currency provision

July 17, 2017 Reuters

NAFTA_logoWASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Monday outlined a tough negotiating strategy for revising the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement and for the first time in a U.S. trade deal said it would seek to deter currency manipulation by trading partners.

In a much-anticipated document sent to lawmakers ahead of talks expected next month, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the Trump administration aimed to reduce the U.S. trade deficit by improving access for U.S. goods exported to Canada and Mexico, the two countries in NAFTA besides the United States.

The document asserts that no country should manipulate currency exchange to gain an unfair competitive advantage.

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Can Mexico overcome Donald Trump’s obsession with trade deficits?

7/17/2017 Financial Times

sea tradeAs Mexico braces for the US to put its Nafta negotiating objectives in writing, potentially as soon as today, Washington’s letter last week to South Korea makes ominous reading.

“President Trump continues to keep his promises to lower our trade deficit,” said US trade representative Robert Lighthizer. If the administration pursues that goal above all others in negotiations to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement that could start in mid-August, Mexico fears the talks will go nowhere fast.

The peril of pursuing such a policy was thrown into sharp focus — pardon the pun — last month. US automaker Ford, which in January ditched a planned $1.6bn plant in Mexico under pressure from Donald Trump, abruptly announced it was shifting production of its Ford Focus to China.

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Mexico extends offer to bring home undeclared capital from abroad

07/14/2017 Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico will extend a tax repatriation plan aimed at bolstering the country’s paltry fiscal revenues after it pulled in nearly 76 billion pesos ($4.3 billion) in the first half of the year, President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Friday.

The plan, which offers holders of undeclared capital abroad tax incentives to bring it home, was originally set to expire in July, but Pena Nieto said he was extending it through October due to its success.

“The favorable response to this initiative is additional indication of confidence in our country,” he said in a speech.

In January, the government said the powerful CCE business lobby estimated the plan could yield $10 billion in investment.

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