What Trumponomics means for the border region

10/15/16 The Economist

fence at borderASKED what he thought of Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the border, a Mexican official smiled and reached for his smartphone. He called up a map of Mexico in 1824, when it included California, Texas and most of what is now the southwestern United States. We’ll gladly pay for a wall on that border, he joked.

For most Mexicans, the prospect of a Trump triumph—however unlikely—is less amusing. The Republican nominee says he would slap a 35% tariff on Mexican goods and maybe scrap the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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Mexico is not just “taking jobs” from the US. It’s also adding them.

9/28/2016 Quartz

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump repeatedly lamented the loss of jobs to Mexico during his facedown with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Sept. 26.

Putting aside the fact that some of his claims were untrue—the social media folks at Ford had to jump in on Twitter mid-debate to deny Trump’s claim that the car company is leaving the US—his views offer an extremely one-sided view of the relationship Mexico and the US have built under the North American Free Trade Agreement, particularly when it comes to jobs.

He didn’t mention, for example, that as a partner under NAFTA, Mexico is also supporting employment in the US.

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This article mentions the Mexico Institute’s new project Growing Together: Economic Ties between the United States and Mexico. Check out the project.

In The Debate Donald Trump Was Simply Wrong About VAT And Mexico

09/27/16 Forbes

Donald_Trump)Just one point about last night’s debate (no, sorry, my stomach is not strong enough to wage through more of that much politics). Donald Trump made a claim about Mexico and taxes. He claimed that the VAT there acts like a 16% barrier to American exports to Mexico. And that given the US doesn’t have a VAT then Mexican exports to the US did not face the same problem.

Apologies but this is simply flat out wrong. It’s nonsense, arglebargle if you want to use the technical term. Here’s Trump:

Let me give you the example of Mexico. They have a VAT tax. We’re on a different system. When we sell into Mexico, there’s a tax. When they sell in — automatic, 16 percent, approximately. When they sell into us, there’s no tax. It’s a defective agreement. It’s been defective for a long time, many years, but the politicians haven’t done anything about it.

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How to fix NAFTA

09/27/16 Politico

Clinton signing NAFTA

This election year has seen the most concerted, dangerous attack on free trade since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. From both the right and the left, leading presidential candidates have savaged NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-country pact among Pacific nations currently awaiting a vote in Congress. No matter what happens in November, these underlying political sensitivities are not going away.

Critics of NAFTA and the TPP are wrong to suggest that free trade is harmful for America. On the contrary, a full retreat into autarky has almost always hurt the U.S. economy.

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What Can Mexico Do About Trump?

09/27/16 The New York Times 

Border - MexicoWhen Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, the Mexican secretary of the economy, came to talk to me last week about trade and the American elections, I didn’t expect him to drag up the old spat between Mexico and the United States over trucks.

Back when it signed on to the North American Free Trade Agreement more than 20 years ago, the United States committed that in the year 2000 it would lift restrictions that kept Mexican trucks from hauling cargo inside the United States, forcing them instead to dump their loads at the border. But when the time came, under pressure from the Teamsters and the union’s allies in Congress, Washington backed out.

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Forget Trump’s Wall: For Mexico, the Election Is About Nafta

09/23/16 The New York Times

mexico-usa-flag-montageTOLUCA, Mexico — In this industrial city near the Mexican capital, workers gather outside the gates of a sprawling Chrysler plant for a late shift assembling Dodge Journey S.U.V.s. It’s a sought-after job, with carworkers in Mexico earning an average of about $5 an hour, compared to the nation’s minimum wage of less than $4 for the whole day. Yet it is a fifth of what autoworkers make in Detroit, and that has helped Mexico become a global powerhouse in car production. The finished products can be seen in the parking lot: thousands of shiny new S.U.V.s, black, white, silver, red, waiting to be shipped around the planet, particularly to the United States, where Americans bought 100,000 Journeys last year.

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Mexico considers bill to revoke US treaties if Trump wins election

09/05/16 Financial Times

Dario Lopez-Mills - AP (2)So you want to play hardball Mr Trump? Mexico is to consider revoking a series of bilateral treaties — including the 1848 agreement that transferred half its territory to the US — if the Republican candidate wins the presidency and rips up the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a bill to be presented to Congress.

The initiative, to be proposed on Tuesday by Armando Ríos Piter, a leftwing senator, follows last week’s much-criticised meeting between Mexico’s President Enrique Peña and the US presidential contender Donald Trump, which inflamed public opinion and sparked a cabinet rift.
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