U.S., Canada, Mexico hold ‘robust’ trade deal talks, downplay differences


Source: Reuters

Trade ministers from the United States, Canada and Mexico said on Tuesday they held “robust” talks on the new North American trade deal and pledged to fully enforce its higher standards, while downplaying differences over a range of other irritants.

The ministers, in a joint statement issued after their first meeting to review the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade that took effect in July 2020, also vowed to focus on fighting climate change and crack down on imports of goods to the region made with forced labor.


U.S., Canada, flag concerns over investment with Mexico


Source: Reuters

The United States and Canada urged Mexico to respect foreign investments during trade discussions on Monday, officials said, while Washington also raised issues over Mexican farm produce.

The talks came at the start of the first meeting of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Free Trade Commission, which centers on the trade accord that last year replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (USMCA).

Virtual talks were held bilaterally between Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier and her counterparts U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade.


Mexican president replaces economy minister with political ally


Source: Reuters

MEXICO CITY, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday nominated his former campaign chief Tatiana Clouthier to replace Graciela Marquez as economy minister, a change which could give new impetus to his efforts to repair bruised ties with business.

Clouthier, a federal congresswoman and scion of a notable political family, played a major role in Lopez Obrador’s 2018 election campaign. But she initially opted not to be part of the federal government when he took office in December that year.


Banks Fret in Cozy Market Where Bounced Check Eats Two Days’ Pay

2/27/2019 – Bloomberg

Lujan Agusti/Bloomberg

“Mama, why did they take my money?’’

Tatiana Clouthier had put the peso equivalent of about $80 in a savings account for her daughter Maria a few months earlier. Then a statement arrived showing the new balance: zero. She recalls answering her ten-year-old’s plaintive question as best she could: “Because they charged you fees for I don’t even know what.’’

Mexican banks might have upset the wrong mother. Almost a decade later, Clouthier is among the most powerful lawmakers in President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s party. And she’s backing a campaign that’s spread jitters through financial markets, to make the banks charge less.

High fees are a problem for Mexico’s economy, as well as for individual customers. Because their flip-side is an unusually low level of lending to households and businesses -– the kind that finances growth.

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