Fed’s Kaplan says U.S. benefits from trade ties with Mexico, Canada

5/24/2017 Reuters

map north americaDallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan said on Wednesday that he feels “very strongly” that U.S. trade relationships with Canada and Mexico help U.S. competitiveness, in remarks that come as President Donald Trump looks at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“I don’t want to see us to jeopardize those relationships: it would cost U.S. jobs,” Kaplan said in Toronto during a dinner sponsored by the C.D. Howe Institute.

“I am hopeful these agreements will be addressed in a constructive way.”

Kaplan, otherwise, avoided directly commenting on policies favored by Trump, who has criticized U.S. trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, among others, saying they hurt U.S. workers.

Turning to interest rates, Kaplan said he sees two more rate hikes as a base case. The Fed has signaled that it may raise rates two more times this year, although most analysts expect only one more rate hike.

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Trump proposes deep U.S. spending cuts in Mexico, Central America

5/23/2017 Reuters

5440388253_7a8e8c1584_bPresident Donald Trump on Tuesday proposed drastically slashing U.S. foreign aid spending in Mexico and Central America, which are struggling with drug violence, graft and poverty that prompts many from the troubled region to migrate north.

Trump’s austere 2018 budget proposal, which seeks to trim $3.6 trillion from government spending over the next decade and is unlikely to get legislative approval in its current form, envisages steep cuts in most federal departments, but particularly the State Department.

Ever since launching his presidential campaign in 2015, Trump has attacked Mexico, threatening to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement, build a Mexico-funded southern border wall and ramp up deportations of those living without documents in the United States.

Tuesday’s proposal foresees 2018 Mexican aid of $87.66 million, down more than 45 percent from the 2016 outlay.

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Mexico warns on NAFTA sourcing: ‘Don’t shoot ourselves in the foot’

5/23/2017 Reuters

27424865601_1ff00195fd_kMexico’s economy minister on Tuesday sounded a note of caution to the three countries involved in NAFTA trade negotiations, saying they should be careful not to adjust rules on local sourcing of parts too much, or risk driving business elsewhere.

Speaking at an event in Mexico City with Canada’s Minster of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Mexico was not opposed to revising so-called rules of origin – which stipulate that products must meet minimum NAFTA-wide content requirements to be tariff-free.

But he warned that Mexico, the United States and Canada could “shoot ourselves in the foot” if they tweak rules too much and drive investment elsewhere.

Under these rules, manufacturers must obtain a minimum percentage of components for their products from Canada, Mexico or the United States.

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Mexico growth outlook brightens on exports, tone on NAFTA: official

5/22/2017 Reuters

Export Or Import DirectionsThe outlook for Mexico’s economy is improving after stronger factory exports in the first quarter and a more optimistic tone on trade talks with the United States, a top finance ministry official said on Monday.

Finance Ministry Chief Economist Luis Madrazo said Mexico’s exports, excluding oil which has been hit by lower production by state-run oil company Pemex, grew 9.2 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, the strongest pace in more than two years.

“(Factory) exports are now firing on all cylinders, and that is very good for Mexico,” Madrazo told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Mexico exports mostly manufacturing goods, compared to other Latin American economies that produce more raw materials, and it sends nearly 80 percent of its exports to the United States.

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Exclusive: North American carmakers want rules of origin in NAFTA left untouched – Mexico lobby

5/22/2017 Reuters

automobileThe auto industries of the United States, Canada and Mexico agree there should be no changes to rules of origin in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the president of the Mexican automakers’ association said on Monday.

Under the trade deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada, rules of origin stipulate that products must meet minimum regional, or NAFTA-wide, content requirements to be tariff-free.

“Our position is that the trade agreement has been a success, and we shouldn’t be touching something as important as the rules of origin,” Eduardo Solis, president of Mexican automakers’ industry group AMIA, told Reuters in an interview.

NAFTA’s rules of origin, said Solis, have been key in creating value and integrating the auto industry in North America.

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Canada foreign minister will visit Mexico to discuss NAFTA talks

5/17/2017 Reuters

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Flickr/Alex Guibord

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Wednesday she would travel to Mexico next week to discuss renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, which U.S. President Donald Trump says needs major changes.

Freeland also told parliament that Canada wanted all three member nations to be at the table for the formal talks, which she indicated should start later this year.

Canada and Mexico both send the majority of their exports to the United States and could be badly hurt if Trump goes ahead with a threat to rip up the pact unless it is reformed.

Freeland said she was in very close contact with Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, who are leading the NAFTA file.

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Fourth Annual “Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border” Conference

A truck of the Mexican company Olympics bearing Mexican and U.S. flags approaches the border crossing into the U.S., in LaredoWHEN: Wednesday, June 14, 2017

WHERE: 6th Floor Auditorium, Wilson Center

Click to RSVP.

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute and the Border Trade Alliance are pleased to invite you to our fourth annual high-level “Building a Competitive U.S.-Mexico Border” conference, which will focus on improving border management in order to strengthen the competitiveness of both the United States and Mexico. Specific emphasis will be put on a cooperative bilateral framework, border and transportation infrastructure, binational economic development, and the need for efforts that simultaneously support security and efficiency in border management.

      

Confirmed Speakers*

Governor Doug Ducey, Governor of the State of Arizona

Senator John Cornyn, Texas Majority Whip and Charmain, Subcomittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness

Commissioner (Acting) Kevin McAleenan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Congressman Henry Cuellar, (TX- 28)

Alan Bersin, Global Fellow, Wilson Center & Former Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Russell Jones, Chairman, Border Trade Alliance

Michael C. Camuñez, President & CEO, ManattJones Global Strategies & Former Assistant Secretary of Commerce, International Trade Administration

Carlos Marin, CEO, Ambiotec Group, Board Member, United Brownsville

Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute

Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

* A detailed agenda and additional speakers will be added 

Click to RSVP

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