An uneasy tomato truce between Florida and Mexico is coming to a bitter end

3/22/2019 – The Washington Post

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(Daniel Becerril/Reuters)

By Laura Reiley

Florida tomato growers have no shortage of challenges these days. Development is encroaching on the best farmland. There are issues of climate change and access to fresh water; pest problems and soil problems; heat and humidity; and the threat of hurricanes. Labor costs are high.

But, according to growers, the biggest challenge isn’t in Florida at all.

It’s what the Florida Tomato Exchange, a trade organization, alleges is an effort by Mexican growers to dump artificially low-priced tomatoes on the American market. That, they claim, is undermining American farms.

The exchange will make the case in front of the U.S. Trade Commission on Thursday, arguing that the Department of Commerce should terminate a 22-year-old agreement that had attempted to maintain the peace between Florida and Mexican tomato growers.

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Mexico and Brazil reach light-vehicle free trade agreement

2/20/2019 – Reuters

Capture.JPGMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s government said on Tuesday it had reached an agreement with Brazil on the free trade of light vehicles, subject to a 40 percent regional content requirement, paving the way for more open commerce between Latin America’s two biggest economies.

The agreement takes effect on Tuesday and the content requirement would be subject to current formulas for calculation, the economy ministry said in a statement. The statement did not provide details on the formula.

Mexico has been seeking to diversify trading partners since U.S. President Donald Trump warned of the possible death of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has underpinned Mexico’s foreign trade for a quarter-century.

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Mexican President Talks Trade, Migration With Trump Adviser Kushner

3/20/2019 – The New York Times

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(lopezobrador.org.mx)

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador met with U.S. White House adviser Jared Kushner on Tuesday, the Mexican government said, discussing trade and migration.

Kushner, who is U.S. President Donald Trump’s influential son-in-law, was invited by the Mexican government, it said in a statement.

By Daina Beth Solomon & Michael Perry

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Lighthizer launches his USMCA charm offensive

3/13/2019 – Politico

Robert_Lighthizer_-_Regional_Media_Day.pngBy Megan Cassella

Lighthizer is at the Capitol this morning at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s invitation, talking the merits of the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement with a Democratic caucus that is increasingly skeptical the NAFTA replacement goes far enough.

He knows it won’t be easy, but he also knows that with a Democratic majority in the House, it will be crucial to win the support of at least a broad swath of the party’s members if he wants to deliver a win on the deal for President Donald Trump this year.

“Frankly, I think Mr. Lighthizer is perceived as a professional, so I think he comes with a more positive attitude than some others,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. “But I also think there’s deep disagreement, perhaps, with the policies he may be talking about.”

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Mexican Farmers Urge ‘Mirror’ Tariffs on Trump’s Rural Base

3/7/2019 – The New York Times

aerial-aerial-shot-agriculture-1595108.jpgBy Reuters

MEXICO CITY — Leaders of Mexico’s agricultural sector are urging “mirror measures” on U.S. farm imports in politically sensitive products such as yellow corn and poultry, in an effort they argue would counter decades of subsidized imports from the United States.

The three-month-old government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is currently working on an updated list of products imported from its northern neighbor on which to possibly apply a second round of tariffs in response to U.S. measures imposed on Mexican steel and aluminum by the Trump Administration last year.

Last June, Mexico imposed tariffs of between 15 and 25 percent on steel products and other U.S. goods, in retaliation for the tariffs applied on the Mexican metals imports that Trump imposed citing national security concerns.

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USMCA will help us make the most of our energy resources

2/28/2019 – The Hill

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© Getty Images

By Benjamin Zyche

Natural resources are an important component of national wealth, and the efficient allocation and use of those resources is an economic process yielding enormous benefits for ordinary people.

Also axiomatic is the reality that international trade — the movement of resources, intermediate inputs and goods and services across international boundaries in response to market signals — improves aggregate economic productivity and thus facilitates an increase in efficient resource use.

Energy resources are a central component of the natural resource base, and that is why it is essential that the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) be finalized and ratified.

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Mexico seeks to put to rest labor concerns over new trade deal

2/27/2019 – The Hill

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© Getty Images

Mexico’s labor reforms will put to rest any concerns that American legislators may have over ratifying the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the country’s top diplomat for North America told The Hill Tuesday.

Jesus Seade, an undersecretary of foreign relations, said Mexico will, for the first time in a century, actually follow its progressive labor ideals.

“We have a century of having the most advanced labor legislation in the world, the Constitution of 1917, number one in the world, but it turned out to be bogus,” Seade said.

Mexico’s labor practices are likely to come into question once Congress sets to the task of ratifying the USMCA, which President Trump hopes to use to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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