Donald Trump’s ‘beautiful’ wall both a dream and nightmare

5/27/16 BBC News

Mexican-American_border_at_NogalesAt the south-western tip of California, straddling the dirty trickle that is the Tijuana river, stands a wall – or rather a series of walls, fences and ditches.

This is the stuff of Donald Trump’s dreams, only his wall would be bigger and better of course, not to mention longer, stronger and vastly more expensive.

Between the fortifications, in what is effectively no-man’s land, a yellow line painted on the concrete marks the end of the mainland United States and the beginning of Mexico.

The border here owes its defences to Operation Gatekeeper, a controversial programme enacted in 1994 under President Bill Clinton which built barriers, added patrols and spruced up technology such as movement sensors.

All these years on, it appears to have worked, up to a point.

“It’s like water,” says border agent Shawn Moran as he drives the route near San Diego which he has patrolled for two decades. “They’re going to take the path of least resistance and right now there’s a lot of resistance out here.”

Read more… 

New US Ambassador to Mexico Arrives to Take up Post

5/26/16 ABC News

Roberta_S_JacobsonRoberta Jacobson arrived to assume her new role as the United States ambassador to Mexico on Thursday, coming at a time when immigration and Mexican trade have been heated themes in the U.S. presidential campaign.

Considered among the U.S. diplomats most knowledgeable about the region, Jacobson said in briefs remarks in Spanish upon her arrival that she was excited and confident there would be “excellent communication” between the U.S. and Mexico.

“I have the intention to travel far and wide in Mexico to get to know the unique attributes of each region and to be able to listen to Mexicans in person,” she said.

Antonio Garza, U.S. ambassador to Mexico in 2002-2009, called Jacobson “an extraordinarily able diplomat” and “the best of a generation when it comes to Latin America.”

In terms of the binational themes getting traction in the U.S. election campaign, Garza said, “I think her position is largely going to be somewhat neutral but to comment as factually as possible on the assertions that the candidates might make.”

Donald Trump, who on Thursday reached the number of delegates necessary to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, has infuriated many in Mexico by accusing Mexican migrants of being “rapists” and by promising to make Mexico pay for a larger border wall.

In an effort to emphasize the contributions that Mexican immigrants make in the U.S., Mexico’s government recently named a new ambassador to Washington.

Read more… 

EVENT | What Do Mexicans Think About the U.S. and the World? Results from Mexico, the Americas, and the World 2014-2015

mexican-flag1WHEN: Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 3:00-5:00pm

WHERE: 5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click to RSVP

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute is pleased to invite you to our event “What Do Mexicans Think About the U.S. and the World? Results from Mexico, the Americas, and the World 2014-2015.” Mexico, the Americas, and the World is a public opinion research project undertaken by the Division of International Studies at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) in Mexico City. The survey, carried out biannually in Mexico since 2004 (and elsewhere in Latin American since 2008), seeks to understand Mexicans’ and Latin Americans’ views on foreign policy and international relations—in a word, on their place in the world. The 2014-2015 edition finds that, among other things, fewer Mexicans report having family members that live abroad and receiving remittances. Despite the rise of anti-immigration sentiment in the U.S., Mexicans’ evaluations of “Colossus to the North” have continued to rise since 2010—apparently an “Obama effect.” Finally, faced with a grave human rights crisis, Mexicans are willing to accept supervision on rights from the UN, OAS, and even—to some extent—from the United States. Two researchers from CIDE will present and discuss the report’s findings.

Speakers
Gerardo Maldonado
Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE)

David Crow
Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE)

Moderator
Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click to RSVP

Mexico’s Arca Continental to Bottle, Distribute Coca-Cola in Southwest U.S.

5/26/16 Wall Street Journal 

14716049305_62495b73a5_bCoca-Cola Co. said Wednesday it plans to transfer its soda manufacturing and distribution in Texas and parts of Oklahoma to a joint venture headed by Mexico’s Arca Continental SAB.

The letter of intent with Arca, Coke’s second-largest bottler in Latin America, comes as Atlanta-based Coke accelerates efforts to divest plants and trucks in order to focus on marketing and its more profitable concentrate business.

Arca is the first Mexican bottler to acquire Coke territory in the U.S. but not the first foreign partner. Hong Kong-based Swire Pacific Ltd. is a major Coke bottler and distributor in the Western U.S. and Japan’s Kirin Holdings Co. owns a Coke bottler in the Northeast.

Coke said in February it would sell all of its U.S. manufacturing and distribution by the end of 2017, part of a broader global divestment drive. It paid $12.3 billion in 2010 to acquire the U.S. territories of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., its biggest domestic bottler at the time.

With the latest deal, Coke said it has struck deals to refranchise territories representing about 60% of bottler-delivered volume and 41 of 51 cold-fill production plants in the U.S.  Coke still owns bottling and distribution in California and parts of the Northeast, in addition to other territories.

Read more… 

Building Borders That Foster Security And Prosperity In North America

5/24/2016 Forbes

san-ysidro-border-crossing-by-flickr-user-otzbergBy Earl Anthony Wayne and Christopher Wilson

Canada, Mexico and the United States are collaborating to enhance security and foster prosperity at North America’s borders, while respecting each nation’s sovereignty.  Prime Minister Trudeau, President Peña Nieto and President Obama can give this effort a big boost when they meet for the North American Leaders Summit (NALS) on June 29 in Canada.  Given the contentious nature of the public and political debates about border security right now, it will be especially important for the leaders to articulate clearly what it means to build twenty-first century borders that are smart, effective, and meet both the security and competitiveness needs of North America. They should also bless a strong, substantive work agenda to make those objectives reality.

The three countries trade some $3.6 billion in goods and services each day.  Over a million citizens of the three nations cross the borders as part of their daily routine.  Border management tasks are enormous.  But, officials, the private sector and the many states, provinces and cities that benefit from border trade and travel see the tremendous value of a North America in which borders are places of connection and cooperation at least as much as division.  Around our borders, the three governments fight illicit activity; help our economies by facilitating legal trade and transit; and work to protect all three societies from threats ranging from terrorism to invasive species and diseases.

Read more…

Mexico FDI rises to record high in first quarter

5/25/16 Reuters

mexico-statesMay 23 Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mexico rose 4.3 percent to $7.896 billion, the Economy Ministry said on Monday, adding that it was a record high for the first quarter.

The increase in FDI, which was above the $7.5 billion in last year’s first quarter, includes $2 billion that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries paid to acquire Rimsa, a Mexican pharmaceutical firm. Teva struck the deal in October.

The United States accounted for about 29 percent of the country’s total FDI in the first quarter, followed by Israel, Spain, Germany and South Korea. (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov)

Read more… 

Mexico Prepares to Counter ‘the Trump Emergency’

5/22/2016 The New York Times

Border - Mexico

MEXICO CITY — Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, was recently stuck in Mexico City traffic, overcome with frustration — not by the congestion, but by something that was irritating him even more: Donald J. Trump. He grabbed his phone, turned the lens on himself and pressed record.

“Ha! Donald,” Mr. Fox said, holding the phone perhaps a little too close to his face. “What about your apologies to Mexico, to Mexicans in the United States, to Mexicans in Mexico?”

In short order, the 15-second clip was on Mr. Fox’s Twitter feed — another salvo in a personal campaign against the American presidential candidate that has included television appearances, radio interviews and a fusillade of hectoring Twitter posts.

Read more…