Keynote Speech: Opportunities and Challenges for Mexico Today

10/29/2015 The International Trade Journal

By Diana Villiers Negroponte


Since its pre-colonial history, Mexico has demonstrated two contrary tendencies: the outward-looking, global trader and the protective, nationalist instinct. Today, the seven major constitutional reforms of the PRI government reflect the former. However, the teacher’s union, some presidential advisors, and the criminal justice system reflect a preference for the latter. The more progressive sectors of Mexican society assert the need to participate in the global economy, but latent protective and nationalist tendencies throw up challenges. This article examines several contemporary examples of each tendency and demonstrates how they coexist uneasily in modern Mexico.

This article was published by our Advisory Board Member Diana Villiers Negroponte in the International Trade Journal (Volume 29, Issue 5, 2015). Click here to read the full article


Best Forecaster for Mexican Peso Doesn’t Really Look at Mexico

11/18/2015  Bloomberg

mexican pesosThe best forecaster for the Mexican peso is a 36-year-old economist in Warsaw who says he barely keeps tabs on what’s going on in the Latin American country.

The key to correctly predicting moves in the most-traded emerging-market currency is to focus on global sentiment toward developing nations and the outlook for monetary policy in the U.S., Europe and Japan, according to Przemyslaw Kwiecien, the chief economist at X-Trade Brokers SA, a 13-year-old firm that caters to mom-and-pop currency traders.

“We look at the global environment, especially for emerging-market currencies that are very often driven by external factors,” Kwiecien, who worked as an adviser to Poland’s Finance Ministry before joining X-Trade in 2007, said in an interview. “This is how I try to channel all the macroeconomic releases that we receive every day, through the thinking of central bankers.”

Read more…

The Senate Has Delayed Confirming an Ambassador to Mexico. America Needs One Now.

11/5/2015 The National Interest

By Duncan Wood and Andrew Selee, Wilson Center

mexican-flag1The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has been without an ambassador since July. It’s not all that unusual for an embassy to be vacant for a few months, but then again, this is not a usual relationship. Not only is this one of the largest U.S. embassies in the world, but it is the hub for managing one of our country’s most complex and important relationships, and one that has tangible value for millions of Americans in their daily life.

To begin with, Mexico and the United States trade over a half-trillion dollars’ worth of goods and services a year, or more than a million dollars a minute, only slightly behind Canada and China as America’s third-largest commercial relationship. What’s more, Mexico is the United States’ second-biggest export market, ahead of China, and people in twenty-seven states—from Texas and Arizona to Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan, and even New Hampshire—depend on Mexico as the first or second destination for exports produced in their state. Around six million U.S. jobs are closely tied to exports to Mexico.

Read more…

New Publication | Managing the Mexico-U.S. Border: Working for a More Integrated and Competitive North America

By Sergio Alcocer

Anatomy of a RelationshipThe border between Mexico and the United States is one of the most dynamic in the world. The United States and Mexican border states together represent the world’s 4th largest economy, see more than $500 billion dollars per year in bilateral trade, and house 56 crossing points where nearly 300,000 vehicle crossings take place on a daily basis.

Our countries have always had a complex and intertwined relationship and have established different and successful mechanisms to manage border matters. At present, the level of cooperation between Mexico and the United States on border issues is the highest testament of the maturity and strength of the bilateral relationship. Positive synergies are now in place, our common values and cultural ties are nowhere more visible than at our shared border, benefitting both societies.

This essay aims to offer a holistic approach and view of the border region. It focuses on the key aspects that comprise it, and also explains the mechanisms established by Mexico and the United States, describing the strong collaboration that has been accomplished by both countries.

The above text is an excerpt from the introduction to the essayThis essay is part two of our series “The Anatomy of a Relationship: A Collection of Essays on the Evolution of U.S.-Mexico Cooperation on Border Management.”

Read the essay here. 

How To Make Mexico More Competitive: More Corporate Ethics & State Efficiency, Less Corruption

10/21/2015 Mexico Institute-Forbes Blog

By Viridiana Rios

Between 2013 and 2014, Mexico approved historically needed reforms to increase competition, strengthen financial markets, reduce energy costs, improve the quality of education, and make labor markets more flexible.

Yet, according to the figures published just last week by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the country’s competitiveness ranking remains the same as it was a decade ago. Despite Congressional approval of the structural reforms that analysts and observers have demanded for years, there has been little evidence that Mexico is significantly more competitive than it was in 2005.

Read more…

What does agreement on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) mean?

10/7/2015 Wilson Center

By Diana Villiers Negroponte, Mexico Institute Advisory Board Member

On October 4, the 12 trading partners in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) reached agreement after tough negotiations lasting 7 years. [1] The final hurdles on intellectual property protection for pharmaceuticals, market access for dairy products and rules of origin for automobiles were resolved at the recent meeting in Atlanta.  (In 2008, President Bush joined the trade negotiations which had started with 3 nations in 2002). The sense of relief is notable, but TTP must still be approved by the U.S. Congress. All 12 countries need U.S. leadership on this major trade agreement and all made concessions to keep the U.S. in the game.  For the United States to reject TPP because of pressure from the tobacco, pharmaceutical or any other specific industrial group would indicate American reluctance to play a leadership role in the world.  The 11 other parties to TPP are watching the U.S. Congress closely. Will it accept this agreement impacting countries that account for 40% of global GDP and 26% of world trade, or will it withdraw into domestic partisan fights and ignore the global impact?

Read more…

Headlines from Mexico

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1. The President’s Office decided to cancel the traditional gala dinner hosted by the Mexican government on September 15 at the National Palace, according to official sources. The decision to cancel the gala was made due to the austerity measures adopted by the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Read more: CNN México, Excelsior

2. The Head of the Secretary of Interior, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, announced on Wednesday a series of appointments in the Secretary: Humberto Roque Villanueva as the new Sub-Secretary for Population, Migration and Religious Affairs; Felipe Muñoz Vázquez as the executive of the National Public Security System. Arturo Escobar y Vega will take charge of the Undersecretariat of Prevention and Citizen Participation.

Read more: CNN México, Excelsior, AristeguiNoticias, El Universal

3. The Mexican Senate received the proposal by President Enrique Peña Nieto to ratify Agustín Carstens as governor of the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) for a term of six years.

Read more: Forbes México, El Economista

4. The leader of the PRI Senators, Emilio Gamboa, stated that the parties in the Senate are close to releasing a document urging the PGR to create two  special prosecutor offices for the case of Ayotzinapa. If necessary he will convene the coordinators tomorrow or Monday morning.

Read more: Milenio 

5. Members of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IMCI) for the case of Ayotzinapa, formally submitted the final report of their investigation to the President of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), Luis Raúl González Pérez.

Read more: La Jornada