Abbott defends NAFTA in second letter to Trump administration

04/04/2018 The Dallas Morning News

Greg_Abbott,_Governor_of_Texas_(26279225765).jpgGov. Greg Abbott doubled down on his defense of the North American Free Trade Agreement in a second letter to the Trump administration’s top trade negotiator, days after the president threatened to end the agreement over border security disputes.

In the letter dated Wednesday, Abbott thanked U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer for his efforts to update the agreement but urged him to keep intact the rules that dictate which products receive preferential tariff treatment under the trade agreement.

The governor also asked to continue provisions allowing investors to file claims against NAFTA country governments if investor protections for fair and equitable treatment in the agreement are not upheld.

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Trump’s China Trade Focus Brings Mexico Stock Investors Respite

04/04/2018 Bloomberg

Pesos by Flickr user Aleiex
Photo by Flickr user Aleiex

Investors in Mexico’s beaten-down equity market got some more relief Wednesday as escalating trade tension between the world’s two largest economies took the spotlight off of U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist stance toward his country’s southern neighbor.

Mexican stocks jumped 1.7 percent, bucking losses in other global equity markets sparked by fear that tensions could escalate between the U.S. and China. The benchmark IPC Index has gained 3.6 percent in the past two days, the biggest gain since January 2017.

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Mexico slaps tariffs on steel pipes from Korea, Spain, India, Ukraine

Steel Factory
via Flickr – Dave Parker

The Mexico economy ministry said on Tuesday it has formally imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of carbon steel pipe from South Korea, Spain, India and the Ukraine after completing an investigation into “unfair” trade practices.

The investigation came at the request of a company and covered an analysis of the period from April 2013 to March 2016, the ministry said in a statement in the government’s official gazette.

Mexico has imposed duties in recent years on steel products from several countries after local steelmakers announced cuts in thousands of jobs in 2015 and canceled investments.

Recently, Mexico’s economy ministry imposed anti-dumping duties in March on imports of carbon steel pipe from China.

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San Diego’s Mexican property market at risk from Trump tariffs

03/30/2018 Financial Times

It may have been President Trump’s first visit to California since his inauguration in January 2017, but San Diegans probably didn’t relish its purpose. On March 13 America’s commander-in-chief arrived to inspect the eight prototype designs for his border wall with Mexico.

San Diego has had its own border barrier for years — the westerly tip stretches out into the ocean in Border Field State Park at the southern reach of San Diego on the border with the Mexican city of Tijuana.

San Diego county has voted for a Democrat in the past three presidential elections — in 2016, it favoured Hillary Clinton by a good margin. Local agent Susana Corrigan, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, who was born in Mexico City and has been selling homes in San Diego for nearly four decades, says that most residents are opposed to the wall. “There is a large Latino population here. From the human point of view, much of the city is against it.”

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Mexican Peso, Loonie Rally on Auto Olive Branch in Nafta Talks

03/21/2018 Bloomberg

Pesos by Flickr user AleiexThe Mexican peso and Canadian dollar rallied Wednesday after the U.S. reportedly compromised on one of the most contentious issues in North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

The Trump administration dropped a demand that all vehicles made in Canada and Mexico for export to the U.S. contain at least 50 percent U.S. content, the Globe and Mail reported, citing people with knowledge of the talks. The peso led gains among the world’s major currencies, while the loonie was the leader among G-10 currencies against the dollar.

Word that the U.S. is backing away from one of the key Nafta sticking points may be the clearest sign yet that the U.S. is easing its initial hard-line stance. That bodes well for the talks, said Credit Agricole foreign-exchange strategist Vassili Serebriakov.

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Calls for probe of Mexico state pension fund investment after Reuters report

03/14/2018 Reuters

financeThe head of a Mexican congressional committee on Tuesday called for an investigation of an investment by state workers’ pension fund PensionIssste, after Reuters reported it spent millions on shares in a company spiraling toward bankruptcy.

PensionIssste spent around 400 million pesos ($21.5 million) buying the largest stake in builder ICA (ICA.MX), even after its shares had fallen by more than half in the previous year, three people with knowledge of the investment told Reuters.

It stands to lose almost all its investment in a restructuring.

Amazon launches first debit card in Mexico e-commerce push

03/13/2018 Reuters

amazon_topicMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Inc launched its first-ever debit card on Tuesday in Mexico, part of a push to encourage shoppers without bank accounts to buy online.

Internet retailers and brick-and-mortar chains in Mexico are investing heavily in e-commerce as the sector gains in popularity, although it is still a small fraction of total retail sales.

Part of the challenge is attracting consumers who are wary of online fraud and do not have access to credit and debit cards. Less than a third of adults in Mexico have credit cards, according to a 2017 government report.

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