Mexico to Discuss Security With U.S. in Parallel to Nafta

12/11/2017 Bloomberg

Mexico’s top diplomatic and interior officials will visit Washington this week to discuss security cooperation with their U.S. counterparts at the same time that negotiators work to overhaul Nafta, according to four people familiar with the plans.

The visit by Mexican Foreign Relations Minister Luis Videgaray and Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong to meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Thursday is a follow-up to meetings in May, according to the people, who asked not to be named before the agenda is made public. It’s aimed at coming up with strategies to combat transnational criminal organizations, the people said. The press office of the Mexican Foreign Ministry and the U.S. State Department declined to immediately comment.

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Mexico presidency hopeful eyes tax cuts to counter Trump reform

12/5/2017 Reuters

A Mexican presidential hopeful and governor of a wealthy border state said he would cut taxes to compete with lower rates in the United States if President Donald Trump’s fiscal reform passes Congress, hinting at a broader potential response in Mexico.

Jaime Rodriguez, the governor of Nuevo Leon who is seeking to become the first independent to take the presidency, said he would lower “many taxes” if successful.

“We’re going to compete,” he told Reuters on Monday. “If I make it and am able to be president, I would lower taxes,” he added, though he declined to give details.

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Mexico’s Carstens Urges Next President to Keep CPI Mandate

11/27/2017 Bloomberg

Outgoing Mexican central bank Governor Agustin Carstens warned Mexico’s next president that it would be very difficult and counterproductive to try to change Banco de Mexico’s exclusive inflation mandate.

Latin America’s second-largest economy will elect a new president in July 2018. After more than three decades of free-market technocrats, Mexicans could pick a leader who has threatened to implement changes to Mexico’s economic model, and could seek to give the central bank additional mandates such as employment or growth. Current front-runner and leftist firebrand Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has recently acknowledged the importance of the central bank’s autonomy in helping to tame inflation.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Carstens said he’s confident that all of the presidential candidates will respect the central bank’s independence.

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Mexico Oil Exports Up, Economy Seen Bouncing Higher in Fourth Quarter

11/20/2017 NGI

Mexico’s economy contracted an annualized 0.8% in the third quarter, partly because of two major earthquakes, but economists are predicting a bounceback in the fourth quarter. Among other things, oil exports increased by almost 21% in the first nine months from the same period of 2016, and overall industrial production is rising.

The consensus growth forecast for 2017 held steady in October at 2.1%, according to the Federal Reserve Board of Dallas. Petroleum exports improved, and employment growth remained strong, economists said in a monthly update issued last week.

Manufacturing exports rose 6.6%, and oil exports were up 20.9% in the first nine months of 2017. Mexico’s industrial production, which includes manufacturing, construction, oil and gas extraction, and utilities, grew 0.3% in August.

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Mexico’s Outlook in 5 Charts

11/20/2017 International Monetary Fund

The Mexican economy keeps growing, mainly thanks to its strong economic policies, even as the fate of the country’s trade deal with North America remains unclear. However, Mexico would still benefit from carrying out reforms for stronger and more inclusive growth. The main areas to tackle are inequality, corruption, obstacles holding back firms’ productivity, and tax collection to allow more room for public investment.

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Kill Nafta? It’s Not as Easy as Trump Might Think

11/14/2017 Bloomberg

U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly blasts the North American Free Trade Agreement and threatens to terminate the 1994 accord if talks to rewrite it don’t go his way. With the fifth round of negotiations set to resume on Nov. 15, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. remain deeply divided in five areas, including how to settle disputes and the amount of U.S. content in auto production. The terms of the Nafta treaty offer Trump an exit path, but considering the many complications involved, would he really pull the plug?

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Mexico readying economic response if U.S. exits NAFTA

11/13/2017 Reuters

Mexico’s government is preparing a macroeconomic response in case U.S. President Donald Trump makes good on threats to quit the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), an event which could wreak havoc on the Mexican economy and hurt the peso.

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Monday the government and central bank were preparing a plan to address the possibility of a future without NAFTA, but gave few details.

The government has said it is examining how it could adjust Mexican legislation to give investors certainty about their investments if the almost 24-year-old NAFTA collapses.

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