Texas Gov. Abbott to Visit Mexico to Mend Fences, Talk Trade Amid Strained Ties

8/25/2015 The Dallas Morning News

Greg_Abbott_by_Gage_SkidmoreGov. Greg Abbott is expected to visit Mexico City on Labor Day weekend, his first trip abroad as governor, and will lead a delegation of Texans eager to move forward amid turbulent times between once-solid neighbors, The Dallas Morning News has learned.

The agenda is still being fleshed out for the first trip to Mexico by a Texas governor since 2007, but people familiar with the matter say the visit is aimed at mending fences and underscoring the economic, cultural and political integration between Texas and its southern neighbor, an important trading partner.

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Mexico’s Justice System At A Crossroads

06/29/15 Forbes

Aflag StarrGazrs an emerging market, Mexico has tremendous appeal. Its huge volume of trade with the United States, combined recent reforms in the telecommunications and energy sectors, means opportunities abound for savvy investors. But severe challenges remain. Pervasive corruption adds layers of risk to any business venture. Corruption has also hamstrung the nation’s justice system—and which many observers blame for Mexico’s intractable security challenges.

To date, reform efforts have languished. A series of constitutional and legislative reforms passed in 2008 sought to overhaul the justice system and root out corruption, but they have yet to be fully implemented. The 2008 reforms set a 2016 deadline for defining new criminal procedures and new duties for law enforcement and public agencies. Last year the government cleared an important hurdle with the passage of a unified criminal code, but much more work remains. With little less than a year to go, the fate of justice reform in Mexico appears quite uncertain.

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Upcoming Event! NAFTA and the Strengthening of the Mexican Economy

NAFTAWHEN: Monday, June 29, 2:00-3:30pm

WHERE: 5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC

Click here to RSVP. 

Two decades ago, Canada, Mexico, and the United States created a continental economy. Since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico has lived through a currency crisis, a democratic transition, and the rising challenge of Asian manufacturing. Many of the dynamics of North America today, from Mexico’s reform agenda to continental concerns about competitiveness, have their roots in the conditions that produced NAFTA, in the agreement itself, and in the tremendous transformations it wrought. Looking back at that period provides context for understanding today’s reforms. Today, Mexico’s competitiveness agenda, championed by President Enrique Peña Nieto and widely supported by the Mexican Congress, includes specific actions oriented toward promoting larger inflows of foreign investment by opening strategic economic sectors to private participation. This package of reforms would bring a sweeping transformation of the economy.

The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute is pleased to invite you to an event on NAFTA and the Mexican economy. Jaime Serra Puche will present his book NAFTA and the Building of a Region. An Essay from the Mexican Perspective and Lucy Conger will present her paper on Mexican competitiveness, A Mandate for Mexico. Ambassador Carla A. Hills will provide commentary on both publications, in relation to the broader subjects of NAFTA and the Mexican economy.

Speakers

Jaime Serra Puche
Chairman, SAI Law and Economics

Ambassador Carla A. Hills
Chair and CEO, Hills & Company, International Consultants

Lucy Conger
Independent Journalist

Moderator

Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP. There will be a live webcast of this event.

Canada, Mexico push for $3 billion in sanctions against U.S

06/05/15 Reuters

canada mexicoCanada and Mexico will seek World Trade Organization authorization to impose over $3 billion in sanctions against U.S. exports in retaliation against contentious meat-labeling laws, the two nations said on Thursday.

U.S. legislators have signaled they plan to repeal the 2009 laws, which Canada and Mexico says makes their meat products more expensive.

In May, the WTO upheld an earlier ruling that country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rules illegally discriminate against imported livestock from Canada and Mexico, rejecting a U.S. appeal.

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Carstens Won’t Rule Out Keeping Mexico Rates Low After Fed Move


4/19/2015 Bloomberg Business

Mexican central bank Governor Agustin Carstens doesn’t rule out keeping interest rates at a record low even after the Federal Reserve begins to tighten, given slow growth and inflation in Latin America’s second-largest economy.

He also said the country will benefit from faster growth in the U.S., and that the peso is undervalued as investors focus on the outlook for higher U.S. rates rather than Mexico’s economic potential.

“All options are open” for monetary policy, Carstens said Sunday in an interview in Washington after the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

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NAFTA, Free Trade and Mexico’s Drug War

InSightLogo_main_24bit4/7/2015 InSight Crime

Without providing the slightest evidence, the habitual enemies of free trade have launched a new campaign of lies, insisting that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and “neoliberal” policies in general — which according to them the United States forced Mexico to adopt — are the causes of drug violence.

I read an excerpt from Carmen Boullosa and Mike Wallace’s soon-to-be published book “A Narco History: How the United States andMexico created the ‘Mexican war against drugs.'” The book’s thesis is that NAFTA opened the US’s door to drugs from Mexico, mixing them with legal trade, which is false.

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Mexico Reports December Trade Surplus; Manufacturing Offsets Oil

By Anthony Harrup, 1/27/2015

energy - oil pumpsMEXICO CITY—Mexico ran up a trade surplus in December as a jump in exports of manufactured goods, compared with a year before, offset a slump in petroleum exports caused by lower world crude oil prices.

The $254 million surplus last month brought the trade balance for the full year to a deficit of $2.44 billion, the National Statistics Institute said Tuesday. The surplus, smaller than the $1.63 billion surplus in December of 2013, compared with expectations of a $718 million deficit according to the median estimate of eight economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

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