GM to build Chevrolet Blazer in Mexico

06/21/18 Reuters

carmanufacturingGeneral Motors Co (GM.N) is going ahead with its plan to manufacture the new Chevrolet Blazer SUV in Mexico, a spokesman for the automaker said on Thursday, despite criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump over making vehicles abroad.

Trump has been pressing automakers to build more vehicles in the United States under efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“We remain committed to working with the administration on a modernized NAFTA,” GM spokesman Pat Morrissey said, adding the decision was made years ago.

Trump has previously criticized GM for building vehicles in Mexico for sale in the United States.

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Election, NAFTA risks, put investors in Mexico ‘on tenterhooks’

06/19/18 Reuters

NAFTA_logoInvestors who have been holding their ground in Mexico could lose their nerve if leftists take control of the country’s Congress in next month’s election or U.S. President Donald Trump ditches talks to overhaul the NAFTA free trade deal.

Mexico’s peso has held up better than emerging market peers including Argentina, Turkey and Brazil amid a global sell-off since April as higher U.S. borrowing costs sapped the appeal of riskier assets.

Even so, it is down 12 percent since mid-April, hit by the triple threat of a dollar rally, fears that the United States, Mexico and Canada could fail to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement and worries about the July 1 election.

Analysts polled by Reuters early in June were counting on a rebound in the peso by the end of the year, but those hopes could be dashed if leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wins the presidency, gains a congressional majority and signals a move toward more radical economic changes than many have been expecting.

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Trump says ‘getting there’ in NAFTA talks with Canada, Mexico

06/19/2018 Reuters

NAFTA_logoU.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday progress was being made in slow-moving talks to update the NAFTA trade accord between the United States, Canada and Mexico, but he held out the prospect of striking bilateral pacts if a three-way deal could not be reached.

“We’re trying to equalize it. It’s not easy but we’re getting there,” he told a group of U.S. small business executives. “We’ll see whether or not we can make a reasonable NAFTA deal.”

Renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump called a “disaster” for the United States, was a goal he had set out during his election campaign.

Mexico’s Biggest Bank Taps Nafta Negotiator as Chairman

06/18/18 Bloomberg

financeAt a time when Donald Trump is threatening to withdraw from Nafta after labeling it the worst trade deal ever, Mexico’s biggest bank is tapping one of its original negotiators to become its next chairman.

BBVA Bancomer, the local unit of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, nominated Jaime Serra Puche to lead its board, according to a filing with the Mexican stock exchange Monday. Serra headed Mexico’s Nafta negotiations in the early 1990s as trade minister to President Carlos Salinas. If approved, he will replace Luis Robles Miaja, who is retiring in September.

Serra has been a board member at BBVA Bancomer, the nation’s biggest bank by loans, since 2007. He is also the founder and president of SAI Derecho & Economia, a legal, economic and financial consulting firm.

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In final debate, Mexican presidential favorite says a NAFTA fail ‘not fatal’

13/06/18 Reuters

amloThe collapse of the North American Free Trade Agreement would not be fatal for Mexico, the leftist presidential favorite said on Tuesday, while keeping his cool under attack from rivals in the last televised debate before the July 1 election.

Asked what he would do if talks fail to renegotiate the deal that underpins the vast majority of Mexico’s trade, frontrunner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would redirect the economy towards the internal market and revive the rural economy.

“I am going to suggest that the treaty remains, but (the end of NAFTA) cannot be fatal for Mexicans, our country has a lot of natural resources, a lot of wealth,” he said in the round table discussion between the four candidates in the city of Merida.

Drawn out negotiations called by Donald Trump with Canada and the United States to modernize NAFTA have reached a deadlock since the U.S. president imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on the trade partners.

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Mexico Turns Trade Attention to Japan With Nafta Talks at Risk

06/11/2018 Bloomberg

mexican-flag1Mexico’s top trade official is traveling to Japan this week as the Latin American nation seeks to diversify exports and investment amid an impasse in Nafta talks.

Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said he still sees a high chance of a deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, but that the U.S., Canada and Mexico will need to show flexibility. The three sides will strongly engage next month, Guajardo was quoted by Reuters as saying on Monday in Tokyo, where he will meet Japanese officials and business leaders.

Nafta talks are on the back burner ahead of Mexico’s election on July 1, according to a person familiar with their timing, who asked not to be named citing private conversations. Uncertainty about the future of the trade deal increased this weekend after President Donald Trump clashed with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just after a Group of Seven meeting ended in Canada.

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Canadian PM open to compromise on disputed NAFTA sunset clause

06/11/2018 Reuters

trudeauCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday rejected a U.S. demand for a sunset clause in NAFTA but said he was prepared to compromise on the issue, which is holding up talks to update the 1990s-era pact.

U.S. President Donald Trump – who regularly threatens to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement – insists that Canada and Mexico agree to a sunset clause that would allow a member nation to withdraw after five years.

Although Canada and Mexico say the idea is unworkable, Trump told reporters earlier on Saturday that the new deal would contain such a provision. Trudeau rejected the idea.

“There will not be a sunset clause … we will not, cannot sign a trade deal that expires automatically every five years,” he told a news conference at the end of a Group of Seven summit in Quebec.

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