Here’s the scariest part of NAFTA, according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross

09/22/2017 CNBC

Image result for wilbur rossCommerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC on Friday that autos and auto parts are a key area in overhauling the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.

The “scariest part” of NAFTA as it’s currently written is that autos and auto parts make up nearly all of the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and Canada, Ross said on “Squawk Box.”

“Without that there would be a surplus,” he said.

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No substantial tax reforms in Mexico’s 2018 proposed economic plan is not necessarily good news

09/18/2017 International Tax Review

The Mexican Secretary of Treasury submitted the 2018 economic plan (Paquete Económico) to Congress on September 8, 2017 for its approval.

Following the different structural reforms enacted during the early stages of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidential term – most of which pointed towards attracting foreign investment for important economic sectors such as the energy industry – it was natural for his administration to refrain from enforcing any amendments to Mexican tax laws in order to provide investors with legal certainty and tax stability prior to committing important amounts of capital into Mexican ventures, and so the government did this through a tax certainty agreement issued back in 2014.

Consistently, the proposed economic plan by the Ministry of Treasury for 2018 includes no proposals to amend the Income Tax Law, Value Added Tax Law (VAT), Excise Tax Law (IEPS) or even the Federal Fiscal Code (FFC), which is why, in general terms, the fiscal framework for 2018 should remain stable compared to that applicable in 2017.

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Amazon Is Planning to Open a Mega-Warehouse in Mexico

09/13/2017 Fortune

amazon_topicAmazon.com is preparing to open a 1 million square-foot warehouse near Mexico City, sources familiar with the project said, part of an effort to boost its presence in Mexico’s nascent e-commerce industry.

The new warehouse is slated to be built in the Tepotzotlan municipality about 25 miles (40 km) north of the Mexican capital, according to four Mexico City real estate professionals familiar with the plans. Expected to be completed next year, the facility would triple Amazon’s distribution space in Mexico, home to around 120 million potential customers.

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Mexico Expanding Oil Hedge as Fuel Prices Float, Meade Says

09/12/2017 Bloomberg

Mexican Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade attends a conference marking the International Day of Family Remittances 2017 in Mexico City
Mexican Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade attends a conference marking the International Day of Family Remittances 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Mexico will most likely expand its oil hedge marginally for 2018 as it liberalizes gasoline prices, while the cost for the government to protect crude exports against a drastic drop in prices will be about the same as for this year, Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade said.

The earthquake off Mexico’s coast last week should trigger a portion of the World Bank’s largest catastrophe bond if the location in Chiapas and its magnitude of 8.1 is confirmed, Meade said in an interview with Bloomberg News. The World Bank issued in August the bond of as much as $360 million against losses from tropical cyclones and earthquakes in Mexico.

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NAFTA Talks Called Opportunity to ‘Lock In’ Mexican Energy Reforms, U.S. Gas Trade

09/11/2017 Natural Gas Intel

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations are an opportunity to update the 1994 treaty so that it reflects changes in Mexico’s oil and natural gas sector and deepened ties to Canada and U.S. energy markets, according to analysts.

“North American energy markets have changed, and there are the new reforms in Mexico,” BDO Mexico’s Rita Mireya Valdivia Hernandez, a partner in the tax practice, told NGI.  “We need to adapt or modify NAFTA so that it is aligned with what North America is today.”

Talks to hammer out the details of a new NAFTA began in mid-August with the first of seven negotiating rounds scheduled through December. Delegates from the United States, Mexico and Canada met again in early September, while the third round is scheduled for Sept. 23-27.

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Mexico’s industrial output posts biggest drop in more than two years

09/11/2017 Reuters

inegiMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican industrial output unexpectedly sank in July, marking its worst performance in more than two years, on sharp contractions in building and mining, official data showed on Monday.

Industrial production fell 1.0 percent in July from June MXIP=ECI in its biggest monthly drop since May 2015, the national statistics agency said. A Reuters poll forecast a 0.1 percent expansion after flat growth in June.

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Mexico boosts 2017 growth outlook

9/8/2017 Financial Times

(Financial Times) – Mexico shook – but its finances are solid.finance-market_data

That is the message from the government as it presented a “stability and certainty”-based 2018 budget to Congress in a country reeling from its strongest earthquake in a century overnight, saying it was sticking to austerity, boosting this year’s growth forecasts and expecting a higher primary surplus next year.

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