Trump Claims His Wall Is Being Built. It’s Just a Replacement of Old Barriers.

2/21/2019 – The New York Times

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(US Customs and Border Protection)

By Michael Tackett

The president showcased a video of construction on Twitter, but the work he highlighted was from funds previously allocated to replace damaged fencing.

President Trump has been eager to show progress on construction of his long-promised wall on the border with Mexico. So eager that on Wednesday he sent a tweet showing the building of steel fencing in southern New Mexico with the video sped up to add a sense of both efficiency and urgency.

He retweeted himself on Thursday with the all-caps proclamation “THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW!”

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Mexico President Says No More Pemex Oil Joint Ventures for Now

2/21/2019 – The New York Times

21-02-2019-FOTO-06-CONFERENCIA-DE-PRENSA-MATUTINA-768x1024.jpgMEXICO CITY — President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday Mexico will not offer more oil joint ventures between private companies and state energy company Pemex indefinitely, raising doubts about auctions set for October.

In reply to a question about the contracts, known in the industry as “farm-outs,” Lopez Obrador said the country would not offer more until existing projects began producing oil.

Credit ratings agency Fitch downgraded Pemex in January, citing precarious finances and a collapse in oil output.

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U.S. Agriculture Secretary says hopes U.S. will ratify new North American trade deal by summer

2/21/2019 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

By Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Thursday that he hopes the United States will ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal known as USMCA by summer, after Congress has a chance to understand the accord’s provisions.

“I would hope, certainly… I am always optimistic… by summer,” he said at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual forum in response to a question about when USMCA would be ratified. “It’s never over till it’s over, with any legislation.”

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Mexico to pump $3.6 billion into ailing oil firm Pemex in relief plan

2/15/2019 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Fernando Carranza

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico will inject $3.6 billion into ailing state-owned oil company Pemex, including by reducing taxes and refinancing debt, officials said Friday, a move aimed at boosting its finances and preventing a further credit downgrade.

Formally known as Petroleos Mexicanos, the firm holds roughly $106 billion in financial debt, the highest of any national oil company in Latin America.

Pemex will receive $1.8 billion in pension liability monetization as part of the new fiscal assistance plan for company, officials said at a regular press conference, but the Mexican government will not take on new debt for Pemex.

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Key Takeaways from Trump’s Decision to Use a National Emergency to Build the Border Wall

2/15/2019 – The New York Times

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CreditCreditMiguel Sierra/EPA, via Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — President Trump has decided to roll out the big cannon.

A White House official said he will declare a national emergency to build a wall on the border with Mexico, using money from other federal accounts, after Congress declined to authorize sufficient funds to satisfy him in legislation that averts another government shutdown.

Mr. Trump will be wielding extraordinary power to get his way. Democrats strenuously dispute that there is a national security crisis on the border that warrants using the kind of presidential authoritythat in the past has been used for grave matters like the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Here are six takeaways from Mr. Trump’s action.

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Combative Mexican union leader forms new labor federation

2/14/2019 – The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — A Mexican union leader known for his combativeness announced a new labor federation Wednesday and said 150 unions have joined, the latest sign that the country’s long-dormant labor movement might be awakening.

Miners’ union leader Napoleon Gomez Urrutia said the umbrella organization is called the International Labor Confederation.

Despite its name, Mexican law prohibits the federation from having foreign ties. Rather, Gomez Urrutia said, “it will be a question of solidarity and strategic alliances.”

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Unhappy with deal, Trump still doesn’t expect a new shutdown

2/13/2019 – The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Under mounting pressure from his own party, President Donald Trump appears to be grudgingly leaning toward accepting an agreement that would head off a threatened second government shutdown but provide just a fraction of the money he’s been demanding for his Mexican border wall.

Trump said Tuesday he would need more time to study the plan, but he also declared that he was not expecting another shutdown this weekend when funding for parts of the government would run out. He also strongly signaled he planned to scrounge up additional dollars for the wall by raiding other federal coffers to deliver on the signature promise of his presidential campaign.

“I can’t say I’m happy. I can’t say I’m thrilled,” Trump said of the proposed deal. “But the wall is getting built, regardless. It doesn’t matter because we’re doing other things beyond what we’re talking about here.”