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 signals improved ties with U.S. on development, trade

3/21/2019 – Reuters

20-03-2019-FOTO-07-CONFERENCIA-DE-PRENSA-MATUTINA-1024x683.jpgMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador signaled on Wednesday progress between Mexico and the United States on migration and trade after talks with a senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump.

The two neighbors have clashed over Trump’s trade and immigration polices, including his push for a border wall, although Lopez Obrador has mostly avoided public criticism of Trump.

Lopez Obrador, who took office in December, described to reporters on Wednesday a good meeting at a Tuesday night dinner with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, at the home of a mutual friend in the Mexican capital.

Lopez Obrador said Mexico is seeking a bilateral deal with the Trump Administration that includes a $10 billion development plan for Mexico and Central America aimed at addressing immigration.

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Mexican Ambassador Highlights US Ties in Phoenix Stop

3/20/2019 – The New York Times

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Twitter/@Martha_Barcena

PHOENIX — Mexico’s new ambassador to the U.S. emphasized close ties between the two countries during a stop in Phoenix Tuesday as she and Gov. Doug Ducey urged American lawmakers to approve the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

“The U.S. of today cannot be explained without the Mexican presence,” Ambassador Martha Barcena said during a luncheon for Ducey’s Arizona Mexico Commission. She cited the influence on cuisine and tens of thousands of businesses created by Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.

The two countries must work together to promote tourism and speed travel through ports of entry, she said.

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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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Rubin: Mexico has a strategy to deal with Trump’s wall and rejection of migrants

3/18/2019 – The Mercury News

trumprant6.jpgBy Trudy Rubin

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has a strategy to cope with Central American caravans as well as President Donald Trump’s push for a border wall and aversion to migrants.

That was the message from Mexico’s first female ambassador to the United States, Martha Bárcena Coqui, a highly experienced diplomat who was once a Fulbright scholar at the University of Delaware. She recently spoke at a global business conference held by the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia.

Known at home as AMLO, the leftist Mexican president (in office since December) has surprised U.S. observers who expected him to quickly ignite fireworks with Trump. Instead, Mexican authorities have blocked groups of migrants at border towns. They also have permitted the Trump administration to send back several dozen migrants awaiting U.S. court decisions on their asylum applications.

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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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AMLO at 100: Trump-Mexican president honeymoon is ending

3/11/2019 – The Hill

trump_amloOn Monday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will officially cross the 100-day mark in office. He has been a powerful figure since he won the election on July 2.

In fact, it can be said that Mexico was governed by two presidents from July through December: Enrique Peña Nieto, who was largely a lame duck during the five-month transition period and López Obrador, a then president-elect who behaved as the de facto leader of the country, making decisions that were not yet his to make.

For example, despite yet lacking executive authority, López Obrador announced the cancelation of the past administration’s landmark project: a new, $13 billion international airport.

He justified this decision through an ersatz public consultation conducted by the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), López Obrador’s party.

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