Court vacates 2017 amendments to U.S.-Mexico sugar trade pact

 

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10/22/19 – Food Business News

By Ron Sterk

The U.S. Court of International Trade in New York on Oct. 18 vacated the 2017 amendments to the 2014 agreements that suspended sizable anti-dumping and countervailing duties on U.S. imports of sugar from Mexico. In both rulings (vacating the countervailing duty and the anti-dumping amendments), the court said, “The court concludes (1) that Commerce’s failure to follow the recordkeeping requirements of 1677f(a)(3) cannot be described as ‘harmless’ and (2) that the agency’s recordkeeping failure substantially prejudiced Plaintiff.”

The rulings leave the original 2014 “suspension agreements” in place, which had the refined/raw mix of sugar imports from Mexico at 53%/47%, the polarity for “other” sugar at 99.5 and reference prices for refined sugar at 26c a lb and for raw at 22.25c a lb. The 2017 amendments had adjusted the refined/raw import mix to 30%/70%, lowered the polarity for “other” sugar to 99.2 (thus 99.2 polarity and above was classified as refined sugar in the amendments), and raised the reference prices to 28c for refined and 23c for raw.

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Record Year at Pharr Bridge

 

white volvo semi truck on side of road
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10/21/19 – The Monitor

By Mitchell Ferman

The lines at the bridge lasted more than 10 hours at times. “It was bad,” Martin Arteaga said in early April, after crossing a load of bell peppers over the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in his truck from Mexico.

It was the beginning of a slog of a spring at the Pharr bridge, when trucks and passenger vehicles sat on the 3.2-mile span in jammed lines that President Donald Trump threatened to close at the border in late March. Not long after, hundreds of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were reassigned from ports of entry to assist Border Patrol agents with immigration duties.

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Trade War ‘Uncertainties’ Scramble Denim Sourcing Map

 

photo of blue denim textile
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10/08/19 – Sourcing Journal

By Arthur Friedman

Mexico has leapfrogged China as the top supplier of denim apparel to the U.S., according to new data from the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA), as the impact of the trade war with the U.S. caused major shifts in sourcing even before 10 percent tariffs on Chinese apparel went into effect on Sept. 1.

Imports of the blue denim apparel, 97 percent of which are jeans, from China fell 13.47 percent to a value of $517.78 million in the year to date through August compared to the same period in 2018, OTEXA reported. In the same period, jeans imports from Mexico increased 8.84 percent to $558.86 million.

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Secretary Ross and the Commerce Department Wrongly Conclude NAFTA Rules are Bad for the U.S.

10/4/2017 Forbes

Flag_of_the_North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement_(standard_version).svgBy Luis de la Calle

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross published an important op-ed (These NAFTA rules are killing our jobs) in the Washington Post this past Friday, September 22nd.  In it, he claims to offer a serious analysis to show that the trade deficit with Mexico and Canada and lower U.S. value-added in Mexican and Canadian U.S. imports are proof the United States is losing under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Secretary Ross aims to end the “loose talk” about industrial integration for automobile production in the region.

The problem with the article and the U.S. Department of Commerce paper it is based on is that they cherry pick statistics out of the March 2017, Trade in Value-Added (TiVA) database by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in an attempt to confirm the Trump’s administration bias that trade deficits are bad and lead to job losses.  This wrongheaded approach (the trade deficit with Mexico does not harm the United States) does a growing disservice to the comprehension of the importance of international trade for the economy and further politicizes the issue. More worryingly, it shows civil service officers can be influenced so that their analysis comports with White House views on trade.

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Why Leaving NAFTA Would Hurt Tennessee

12/15/2016 The Tennessean

By Mexico Institute Advisory Board Member Lawrence Harrington

flags 3 countriesOpposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico was a cornerstone of Donald Trump’s campaign.

Canceling NAFTA and imposing tariffs on Mexican imports is one of the few actions President Trump can take without congressional approval.  Under the agreement he only needs to give Mexico six months’ notice to cancel the agreement. Using emergency powers, the president could then in all likelihood impose tariffs on Mexican imports. Trump mentioned a 35 percent tariff on certain Mexican goods during the campaign.

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The Case for Partnering with Mexico

11/7/2016 The National Interest

By Public Policy Fellow Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne

mexican flagMexico has been a punching bag in the United States election campaign this year. Rather than hitting our neighbor with insults and threats, however, we should be cementing partnership with Mexico to strengthen our economy and security. The American public has been fed misleading explanations, factual distortions, and bad solutions. A number of the proposed actions regarding Mexico would harm the United States rather than address the challenges we face in creating good jobs, making our economy more competitive, and enhancing border security.

U.S. trade with Mexico supports a net 4.9 million American manufacturing and service jobs spread widely across the United States, according to the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute. Those jobs exist because, under NAFTA, Mexico has become the second largest purchaser of U.S. exports in the world, with Canada being the largest. We trade over a million dollars a minute with Mexico, and the breadth of U.S.-Mexican cooperation is unprecedented, covering trade, public security, immigration, energy, the environment, international affairs, and much more.

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Read our paper “How Trade in Mexico Impacts Employment in the United States”

Check out our project “Growing Together: Economic Ties between the United States and Mexico”

NEW PUBLICATION | Growing Together: How Trade with Mexico Impacts Employment in the United States

growing-together-employment-sectionBy Christopher Wilson

Read the essay

The United States and Mexico trade over a half-trillion dollars in goods and services each year, which amounts to more than a million dollars in bilateral commerce every minute.  With such a large volume of trade, it is not hard to believe that the number of jobs that depend on the bilateral relationship is similarly impressive. New research by the Mexico Institute shows precisely that: nearly five million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico.

The study shows that if trade between the United States and Mexico were halted, 4.9 million Americans from across the country would be out of work.

This essay analyzes the employment impact of bilateral trade on the U.S. economy. Read the essay here.

Key Findings

  • Nearly five million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico… Our model shows that if trade between the United States and Mexico were halted, 4.9 million Americans would be out of work.
  • Many times, it is the availability of cost-efficient inputs that allows U.S. companies to stay competitive enough to fend off competitors from outside the region and to grow exports in the face of fierce global competition. In this way, not just exports but also imports from Mexico help support jobs in U.S. industry.
  • The auto industry, which is probably the single most integrated regional industry, is a perfect example of the benefits of trade integration. Without the availability of nearby Mexican plants to do the final assembly of light vehicles, it is quite possible that the vast U.S. parts producing network for these vehicles would migrate to someplace outside of the continent.
  • Misperception and scapegoating has certainly played a role in creating the current negative political environment around trade…but so has the very real failure of U.S. policymakers to adequately address the challenges facing middle-class Americans.

This essay is part of our project Growing Together: Economic Ties between the United States and Mexico, which explores the bilateral relationship in detail to understand its nature and its impact on the United States. Throughout the fall of 2016, the Mexico Institute will release the findings of our research on our website and social media, using the hashtag #USMXEcon.

Read the essay

Mexico Weapons Imports Increased 331% since 2011

2/23/2016 InSight Crime

InSightLogo_main_24bitMexico’s arms imports grew by 331 percent over the last five years, compared to 2006-2010, raising more concerns over the government’s reluctance to scale back the militarization of the drug war.

The report (pdf), compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), notes that arms imports to the Americas decreased by 6 percent from 2011-2015 versus 2006-2010. Despite this, Mexico, Venezuela, and Brazil all saw a rise in imports.

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Depressed Energy Prices Cause Decline in U.S.-Mexico Trade


2/23/2016 Forbes.com

By Christopher Wilson, Deputy Director, Mexico Institute

forbesFrom 2009-2014, U.S.-Mexico trade skyrocketed. Bilateral trade grew 75%, faster than U.S. trade with any other major trading partner, including China (61%), and importantly, both imports and exports were growing rapidly. In 2015, trade growth came to a screeching halt, though strong fundamentals suggest this may be more of a temporary blip than a new trajectory.

The Census Bureau recently released U.S. merchandise trade statistics for 2015, and though Mexico is still the United States’ second largest export market and third largest overall trading partner, for the first time since the economic crisis of 2008-2009, U.S.-Mexico trade declined from the previous year’s level. Interestingly, as shown in the graph below, U.S.-Canada trade dropped sharply in 2015, allowing China to become the United States’ top trading partner. In 2014, the two countries traded $534.3 billion, but in 2015 that number fell to $531.1, a decline of some $3.2 billion dollars. U.S. imports from Mexico basically held steady, growing from $294.1 to $294.7 billion, although this apparent stagnation masks multiple underlying trends. Exports, on the other hand, dropped some $3.8 billion. This brief analysis examines recent trends in bilateral trade and their implications for the future of U.S. and Mexican economies.

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U.S. Allows Limited Oil Exports to Mexico

8/14/15 The New York Times

energy - oil pumpsThe Obama administration on Friday gave oil companies temporary permission to export a limited amount of oil to Mexico at a time when a glut is cutting into domestic petroleum profits and employment.

The decision by the Commerce Department fell short of removing a ban on crude exports that goes back to the 1970s, when international oil boycotts produced long lines at gasoline stations and threatened the American economy. It also does not make a broad national security exception for Mexico, which has long existed for Canada, to release larger-scale exports.

But support for an end to the ban is growing in Congress among Republicans and Democrats from oil states like Texas. The administration has been reluctant to remove the ban, although it has already given permission over the last two years to American producers to sell some extra-light forms of crude, called condensates, on a limited basis.

The oil industry lent cautious applause to the administration’s move, but repeated its calls for a complete end to the export ban.

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