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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Mexican ambassador talks NAFTA, Mexico’s image

12/4/2017 El Paso Inc.

On Nov. 16, I spent the better part of the day with Mexican Ambassador Geronimo Gutierrez, who visited the El Paso/Juárez/southern New Mexico region.

In the morning, I was part of a small delegation that had breakfast with the ambassador at the Foxconn plant in San Jeronimo, Chihuahua, which is located just across the border from Santa Teresa, New Mexico. After breakfast, we toured the Foxconn facility, which makes Dell computers and HP tablets, followed by an interactive lunch at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas El Paso Branch.

Within the past 25 years, Gutierrez has worked in various high-level positions in the Mexican federal government, including stints in Mexico’s treasury department, Banobras (the Mexican development bank), the interior ministry, and the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs. Most recently, he was the head of the North American Development Bank, which is headquartered in San Antonio.

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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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NAFTA talks in Washington could reach deal on some chapters: Mexico minister

11/27/2017 Reuters

The next meeting of U.S., Mexican and Canadian officials to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will begin on Dec. 11 in Washington, and they could reach agreement on some major chapters of the deal, Mexico’s economy minister said on Monday.

Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said that the Washington round, at which ministers will not participate, should register more advances in topics such as telecoms, e-commerce, technical barriers to trade and regulatory practices.

“There are things we can make progress on,” he told Reuters, adding that those chapters could close during the discussions.

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The U.S.-Mexico Wage Gap Is Actually Widening Under Nafta

11/28/2017 Bloomberg

What’s the opposite of a growth miracle? Whatever the term, it applies in spades to Mexico in the Nafta era.

Poor countries are expected to grow faster than rich ones, and they need to. Trade agreements are supposed to help. Yet by almost any benchmark — certainly the ones trumpeted by the deal’s architects a quarter-century ago — the Mexican economy’s performance has been dismal.

Growth of 2.5 percent a year since 1994 is less than half the developing-world average. It’s pretty much the same as the U.S. and Canada. But even that’s misleading. Because Mexico’s population expands much faster, the economic pie has to be divided among more and more people. So the average Mexican earns less today, relative to U.S. and Canadian peers, than before Nafta.

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Mexico gold mine killings jolt NAFTA talks

11/20/2017 Reuters

The fatal shooting of two workers in an apparent clash between unions at a Canadian-owned mine in Mexico angered labor activists at NAFTA talks on Monday who said the violence was an example of poor labor conditions in the country.

Gunmen shot the two workers on Saturday at a blockade mounted as part of a stoppage they were participating in at a gold mine owned by Toronto-based Torex Gold Resources Inc , Mexico’s National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Allied Workers said in a statement.

Canada, Mexico to rebuff U.S. over NAFTA goals as talks bog down

11/20/2017 Reuters

Canada and Mexico will rebuff the United States over its demand for tougher NAFTA automotive content rules, top officials said on Monday as negotiations to renew the treaty bogged down with only a few months to go.

U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to quit NAFTA, which has reshaped the continent’s auto sector over the past 23 years, unless major changes can be made to return manufacturing jobs to the United States.

Canadian and Mexican negotiators will address the U.S. auto demands on Tuesday, the final day of the fifth round of talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, chief Mexican negotiator Ken Smith told reporters.

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