Mexico Overtakes Canada as No. 2 U.S. Exporter Ahead of Trump

6/12/16 Bloomberg

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Mexico is overtaking Canada as the No. 2 exporter of goods to the U.S. this year, in a sign of how economic ties have deepened between the two countries even as the relationship is being questioned by President-elect Donald Trump.

Shipments from Mexico totaled $245 billion in the first 10 months of the year, according to Commerce Department figures released Tuesday, ahead of Canada’s $230 billion. If the trend continues, it would be the first time ever the U.S. bought more imports from its neighbor to the south. The two countries ended 2015 tied in exports to the U.S.

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Giant Aluminum Stockpile Was Shipped From Mexico to Vietnam

Wall Street Journal 12/1/2016
sea tradeVUNG TAU, Vietnam—One of the world’s largest aluminum stockpiles, which until a few months ago was stored under hay and plastic tarp in a Mexican desert, has been moved to a remote port here in southern Vietnam.

Starting early this year, 500,000 metric tons of aluminum has been trucked out of the Mexican city of San José Iturbide and shipped to Vietnam, according to shipping records and people familiar with the matter. Much of it now sits under black tarps, guarded by baton-wielding men on motorcycles, at a factory and waterfront complex in this South China Sea port about a two-hour drive south of Ho Chi Minh City.

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Can Oil Help Mexico Withstand Trump’s Attack on Trade? It’s Hard to See How

The New York Times 11/27/16

energy - oil pumpsCIUDAD DEL CARMEN, Mexico — The town that oil built is emptying out. “For Sale” signs are plastered on concrete-block houses and sun-bleached bungalows alike. The idled oil workers who used to cluster in the main square, hoping to pick up odd jobs, have moved on. Here in Ciudad del Carmen, on the gulf coast of Mexico, even the ironclad union positions are slipping away. Some roughnecks on the offshore rigs of the national oil company, Pemex, have not worked in months, and their voices are filled with anxiety. “What do you think is going to happen?” some ask.

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Mexico’s Options in a Trump Trade War

11/20/16 The Wall Street Journal

mexico cityIf the sharp selloff of the Mexican peso after the Nov. 8 election of Donald Trump were set to music it might sound like a funeral dirge, the dearly departed being the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). The peso has fallen to an all-time low of more than 20 to the dollar, and on Thursday the Bank of Mexico raised its benchmark interest rate to stem the bleeding.

Mexico investors are worried that Mr. Trump might actually believe—as he argued in his campaign—that U.S. productivity growth and job creation depend on renegotiating Nafta to discourage U.S. investments south of the border. But Mexico won’t easily yield to a new deal that limits its access to U.S. markets in order to make it less attractive as a destination for capital.

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With Trump Victory, Mexico’s Worst Fears are Realized

11/9/2016 The Washington Post

In America’s modern history, few U.S. presidents have come to power as openly hostile to their southern neighbor as Donald Trump. His opening campaign salvos — describing Mexican immigrants as criminals or rapists — seemed almost tame by the time he clinched victory, after so many threats to cut off jobs going to Mexico, deport millions of unauthorized immigrants and build a wall on the border.

His victory stunned, saddened and worried Mexicans, forcing the country’s highest government officials Wednesday morning to call for calm and pledge to work with the United States. The wave of national anxiety sent financial markets here into turmoil as a new, uncertain era in relations with the United States began.

[…] “I think there will be some tinkering with the U.S. approach to international trade, but I don’t see wholesale reversal of U.S. trade policies. There’s too much at stake here, and any change on that scale would take years and years,” said Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. “I think we’re looking at the beginnings of a conversation about where we want to be as a country in our international trade relationships. So we’re moving away from a model of free trade and back to a paradigm of managed trade.” […]

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For Mexico, Long List of Dangers Accompany Trump Presidency

11/10/16 Bloomberg

Donald Trump’s unexpected triumph in U.S. elections portends a very different reality for Mexico and its companies.

Mexico was transformed by the North American Free Trade Agreement that Trump has threatened to rip up. The country now sells about 80 percent of its exports to the U.S., and its companies are more deeply entwined with the world’s largest economy than those of any other developing nation. Some derive more than half their revenue from the U.S., while others own plants or stores in U.S. states.

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Can Trump fulfill his campaign promises on immigration and trade? Mexico hopes not

11/9/16 Los Angeles Times

Border fenceAfter months of apprehension, denial and behind-the-scenes crisis planning, Mexican officials on Wednesday had to face reality: the long-dreaded “Trump Effect.”

Even before Donald Trump was declared winner of the U.S. presidential election, the Mexican currency skidded in international trading, nearing a record of 20 pesos to the dollar. Discussions among many citizens took on a fatalistic, even funereal tone.

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