Mexico and China look to trade away old rivalry

mexico-chinaThe Washington Post, 4/17/13

As the top suppliers of manufactured goods to the American market, China and Mexico have typically been in direct competition over the past decade. More often than not, the business went to China. But with labor costs rising there and Mexico pushing for new access to Chinese consumers, the rivalry is shifting, economists and trade analysts say.

No longer pure competitors but not quite partners, the two countries are moving toward an expanded trade relationship that could ultimately benefit the United States by boosting U.S. exports and keeping cheap imports flowing to U.S. consumers. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s recent trip to China, coming just four months into his term, has been viewed here as a smart overture aimed at mending ties between two nations that have often been at odds over trade issues.

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Op-ed: The 5 Major Conflicts in Mexico Today (In Spanish)

Enrique PeñaNieto 2By Mario Campos, ADN Político, 4/8/13

Teachers leading highway blockades and the police chasing after them; dead bodies hanging from bridges in the State of Mexico, while states like Yucatan have not had a single murder this year; a president on an Asia tour boasting the opening of key economic sectors, while opposition legislators back home say they are in no hurry to approve the changes; these seemingly isolated events must be understood as pieces of a greater history, and as elements of the five major conflicts that explain public life in Mexico today.

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Obama plans to visit Mexico and Costa Rica

Barack ObamaLos Angeles Times, 3/27/13

President Obama is scheduled to travel to Mexico and Costa Rica in early May to push for stronger economic ties, the White House announced Wednesday.In trip scheduled for May 2-4, Obama will meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who was elected last year and took office in December. He last met with Obama at the White House in November.

From there, Obama will head to Costa Rica, where President Laura Chinchilla will host a meeting of several Central American leaders. The White House did not release a list of the participating countries or a detailed description of the agenda. The visit will come as Congress is expected to begin debate on immigration legislation. Obama said he hoped the visit would strengthen cooperation on a variety of issues.

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McCain, 3 other senators to tour US-Mexico border ahead of immigration reform debate

john mccain by marcnThe Washington Post, 3/27/2013

A group of U.S. senators who will be influential in shaping and negotiating details of an immigration reform package is traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona to get a firsthand look at issues affecting the region. Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona were expected to tour the border Wednesday with Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Michael Bennet of Colorado. They are all members of the so-called Gang of Eight — a bipartisan group that has spent recent weeks trying to craft proposed immigration legislation.

The trip comes as Congress is in recess and as the lawmakers wrap up a bill designed to secure the border and put 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship. President Barack Obama has urged Congress to pass immigration reform this year, and border security is critical to McCain and other Republicans who contend that some areas along the border are far from secure. “I wish every member of the United States Senate and Congress could see the border,” McCain told reporters in Phoenix on Monday. “Only when you can see the expanse, the difficulties and the challenges of the border, can you really appreciate the need for our border security.”

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Faithful to Fidel: Castro’s Appeal Endures in Mexico

typing on computer keyboardThe New York Times, 3/15/2013

In a country with barely any Internet access, the activist Yoani Sánchez has managed, with a blog and a Twitter account as her only tools, to tell the outside world about repression in Cuba. This has brought her a couple of arrests and a dozen international awards, including a special mention from the Maria Moors Cabot Prize committee and the Ortega y Gasset prize for online journalism. But in Mexico, Cuba’s most famous dissident was given a decidedly cool welcome.

A couple of weeks ago, Sánchez finally got an exit visa to leave Cuba and started a three-month tour that will take her across Latin America, the United States and Europe. Her first stop in Mexico was in Puebla, two hours from Mexico City, at the annual meeting of the Inter American Press Association. When some of her Mexican friends asked politicians and nongovernmental organizations to host an event in her honor, they found no takers. At the conference itself she was harassed and insulted. Organizations no one had ever heard of published manifestos in local newspapers repudiating her visit.

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