Mexico in 2018

01/9/2018 The Expert Take

expert I (2)By Luis Rubio

The presidential election of 2018 will be the first to be held in Mexico without an international anchor that guarantees the continuity of economic policy since the era of competitive, democratic elections was inaugurated back in the 90s. That anchor has proven to be key to attracting investment and conferring certainty to the population as well as to investors and hence, to the gradual evolution of the country. This does not necessarily mean that there will be radical changes in the government’s strategy. However, for the first time since NAFTA came into effect in 1994, the decision of how to conduct the country’s destiny will no longer be constrained by international commitments and, thus, whoever wins the upcoming election will have unbound power in this regard. The whole political point of NAFTA -an established framework to work under any electoral scenario- will no longer be there. Mexico is living a completely new political reality.

The rhetorical attacks on trade matters and, particularly, NAFTA that President Trump launched since his campaign in 2016 and his insistence on the possibility of cancelling it, has had a decisive impact on Mexican politics. By eliminating the “untouchable” character of the deal within Mexico, the certainty that emanated from it has also evaporated. Even if NAFTA were to continue (in my opinion, the most likely scenario), the damage already inflicted is enormous- as the high domestic political costs that a withdrawal at Mexico’s behest would have entailed no longer exist.

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Decisions on trio of trade partners loom large for US in 2018

01/10/2018 The Hill

CSCL_Globe_arriving_at_Felixstowe,_United_Kingdom (1)By Earl Anthony Wayne

The Trump administration has China, Canada and Mexico at the top of the trade agenda for 2018. Decisions are pending about trade sanctions on China and about modernizing or leaving the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

These are America’s top-three trading partners and export markets. Millions of U.S. jobs and many billions of dollars in trade and investment are in the balance, as are key U.S. strategic interests. The costs of missteps can be very high.

The U.S. administration is considering imposing trade penalties on its largest trading partner, China, for intellectual property (IP) theft and forced technology transfers, for underpricing solar panels sold in the U.S. and for subsidizing the cost of steel and aluminum exports to the U.S.

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UPCOMING EVENT | A Critical Juncture: Public Opinion and U.S.-Mexico Relations

USA and Mexico

WHEN: Thursday, January 18, 2018

WHERE: 5th Floor Conference Room, Wilson Center

RSVP

The Wilson Center and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs are pleased to invite you to an event on public opinion on U.S.-Mexico relations. Over the last two to three decades, public opinion in the bilateral relationship has risen and fallen, and U.S.-Mexico relations have hit a rough patch since the election of Donald Trump. Today, Mexican public opinion of the United States has fallen to a historic low; however, U.S. opinion of Mexico is quite strong and on the rise.

Join us as we discuss two reports on U.S.-Mexico public opinion. The first, A Critical Juncture: Public Opinion in U.S.-Mexico Relations, reviews U.S. and Mexican perceptions of their neighboring country, first looking at broad attitudes and then delving into important topics in the bilateral relationship. The second, a report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, and Buendía & Laredo, For the First Time, A Majority of Mexicans Hold Unfavorable Views of United States, examines the phenomenon of declining Mexican public opinion of the United States, while American views of Mexico have become more favorable since all-time lows recorded in 2013. With NAFTA negotiations in the background, both Mexicans and Americans have come to believe that NAFTA has been beneficial to their countries.

Speakers

Moderator: Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute

Dina Smeltz, Senior Fellow on Public Opinion and Foreign Policy, Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Esteban Guzmán Saucedo, Project Director, Buendía & Laredo

RSVP

 

Mexico Nafta Chief Signals Room for Deal on U.S. Cars Goal

01/09/2018 Bloomberg

flag pictureMexico’s Economy Minister signaled there is common ground over a key U.S. objective ahead of the next round of Nafta talks, saying that strengthening the regional content rules for cars would be a victory for all three member nations.

The Montreal talks are “crucial because it’s the first time we have to send clear signals of where we find possible accommodations,” Ildefonso Guajardo told a gathering of Mexican diplomats Tuesday. For the car industry, “the solution is without a doubt for a strengthened rule of origin in regional automotive content.”

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From Mexico to the U.S., a Nafta Tale of Two Truckers

01/06/2018 New York Times

Businesses catering to trucking are abundant in Laredo, Tex., fueled by cross-border trade. Credit: George Etheredge

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico — Raúl García Miranda wants Carlos Flores’s job. Mr. Flores doesn’t think he deserves it.

He became a United States citizen, giving him the right to drive through the American heartland and earn good money delivering washing machines and broccoli sent from Mexico. Mr. Miranda, a Mexican national, doesn’t have that option. He can make only short trips, back and forth across the border, from a lot on the southern side to truck lots 24 miles to the north.

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EU and Mexico miss breakthrough in high-level trade talks

12/21/2017 Politico

High-level talks between the EU and Mexico this week failed to reach their goal of striking a political agreement on closing large parts of trade negotiations before the year’s end, two EU officials told POLITICO.

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo held meetings until late Wednesday to seek a breakthrough on critical issues such as geographical indications, rules of origin and public procurement.

While “important progress” was made, there was “not enough substance” to announce a political agreement, one official said.

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Mexico looks to Europe and beyond for free-trade allies as NAFTA falters

12/19/2017 Washington Post

 Mexicans want European customers for their cheese and orange juice. Europe’s manufacturers hope to sell toothbrushes and marble to Mexico’s growing middle class. And if Mexican revelers need some fizz to ring in the New Year, France wants it to be French champagne.

So much for NAFTA.

With President Trump threatening to tear up North America’s 23-year-old free-trade agreement, Mexican officials are in Brussels this week trying to upgrade a deal with Europe to soften the hit.

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