Secretary Ross and the Commerce Department Wrongly Conclude NAFTA Rules are Bad for the U.S.

10/4/2017 Forbes

Flag_of_the_North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement_(standard_version).svgBy Luis de la Calle

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross published an important op-ed (These NAFTA rules are killing our jobs) in the Washington Post this past Friday, September 22nd.  In it, he claims to offer a serious analysis to show that the trade deficit with Mexico and Canada and lower U.S. value-added in Mexican and Canadian U.S. imports are proof the United States is losing under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Secretary Ross aims to end the “loose talk” about industrial integration for automobile production in the region.

The problem with the article and the U.S. Department of Commerce paper it is based on is that they cherry pick statistics out of the March 2017, Trade in Value-Added (TiVA) database by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in an attempt to confirm the Trump’s administration bias that trade deficits are bad and lead to job losses.  This wrongheaded approach (the trade deficit with Mexico does not harm the United States) does a growing disservice to the comprehension of the importance of international trade for the economy and further politicizes the issue. More worryingly, it shows civil service officers can be influenced so that their analysis comports with White House views on trade.

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How Mexico Deals with Trump

10/9/2017 The New Yorker

Source: The New Yorker

Afew months ago, at Mexico City’s Auditorio Nacional, workers were cleaning up after a triumphant viewing of “L’Elisir d’Amore,” broadcast live from the Metropolitan Opera House. Outside, in the bright sunshine, Reforma Avenue was closed to traffic for a protest. Angry people gathered on the theatre steps, waving Mexican flags and hoisting effigies of Donald Trump, and then began marching toward El Ángel, a century-old monument to Mexican independence. One protester carried a placard that read “Mexico Deserves Respect.” Another held a poster of Trump with a Hitler mustache and the tagline “Twitler.” A local activist known as Juanito carried a large American flag bearing an unflattering image of Trump and the message “Enough! Gringo Racist, Full of Shit Trump, Son of Satan, You’re a Danger to the World.” Juanito said that he was prepared to take up arms against the American incursion, demonstrating his resolve by pointing out the scars of old bullet wounds.

Trump began his assault on Mexico almost as soon as he announced his candidacy for President. In a rambling speech at Trump Tower on June 16, 2015, he blamed Mexico for stealing American jobs, and for allowing its worst elements to cross the border: “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists.” To solve the problem, he pledged, “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” These ideas proved popular with Trump supporters, and rants about Mexico were soon a regular feature of his campaign events. As he sharpened his routine, Mexicans became not only rapists and drug dealers but also murderers. Trump promised to overhaul U.S. immigration policy and to deport “bad hombres” by the millions. At rallies, he asked, “Who’s going to pay for the wall?” and the crowds howled back, “Mexico!” If Mexico would not pay, he suggested, he might cancel visas for Mexicans and block migrants living in the U.S. from sending remittances back home.

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Advisory Board Member Roderic Ai Camp Awarded Order of the Aztec Eagle

The Mexico Institute of the Wilson Center is pleased to congratulate Roderic Ai Camp on his award of the Order of the Aztec Eagle. Camp is being honored with the Order of the Aztec Eagle for his contribution to the promotion of Mexican culture in the United States through his work in academia.

The award was created in 1933 by Mexico’s then President Abelardo L. Rodríguez to recognize individuals who had contributed significantly to both Mexico and humanity at large. To this day, the country’s president is the only one who can issue this distinction. The Order of the Aztec Eagle is the highest honor foreigners can receive from the Mexican government.

Roderic Ai Camp is a member of the Mexico Institute’s Advisory Board and a former Mexico Institute Global Fellow. Most recently, the Institute launched his book Mexico: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Camp is the Phillip M. McKenna Professor of the Pacific Rim at Claremont McKenna College. For more information on his decoration, please see Claremont McKenna College’s press release.

Congratulations, Rod, from all of us at the Wilson Center.

See the original release on the Mexico Institute’s website.

Trump to call Mexico’s Pena Nieto in earthquake’s wake: White House

09/12/2017 Reuters

Donald_Trump_August_19,_2015_(cropped)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump was scheduled to speak with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Tuesday about last week’s devastating earthquake that led to the deaths of at least 96 people, the White House said.

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Mexico foreign minister heads to U.S. to meet with Dreamers

09/11/2017 Reuters

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray will travel to the United States this week to meet with local leaders and beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the ministry said on Monday.

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You Won’t Like Mexico When It’s Angry

09/11/2017 Politico

President Trump’s insults are pushing the Mexican political system into dangerous territory.

In his landmark 1985 book, Distant Neighbors, Alan Riding, then the New York Times’ Mexico City correspondent, wrote that the Mexican president, in the days of the one-party state, was all powerful except for two things he could never do: 1) reelect himself (there’s a constitutional one-term limit for Mexican presidents) and 2) bring Mexico closer to the United States.

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New Publication | Building on Early Success: Next Steps in U.S.-Mexico Educational Cooperation

By Angela Robertson and Duncan Wood

USA and MexicoLaunched in 2014, the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research (FOBESII) seeks to “expand opportunities for educational exchanges, scientific research partnerships, and cross-border innovation to help both countries develop a 21st century workforce for both our mutual economic prosperity and sustainable social development.” It aims to promote binational cooperation in higher education and research, especially regarding important areas for innovation in the United States and Mexico, by promoting programs for student mobility, academic exchange, research, and innovation in areas of common interest to contribute to the competitiveness of the region.

Cultural and educational exchanges help to create connections between the people and institutions of the United States and Mexico via exchange programs, scholarships, grants, and joint research.  Increasing educational exchanges and strengthening workforce development and innovation, particularly in STEM areas, will allow the United States and Mexico, and North America as a whole, to compete in global markets. Thus, FOBESII has the potential to build a more prosperous future for both the United States and Mexico.

Nonetheless, this short paper argues that, while FOBESII has done much to expand educational exchanges, increase joint research, and promote innovation, it has yet to achieve its stated goals and continues to face serious challenges. We argue that to overcome these challenges, future initiatives must focus on advancing private sector engagement, workforce development, and improving public communication and outreach. FOBESII continues to be a relevant and important initiative, but it is in urgent need of restructuring and redirection if it is to make a significant contribution to bilateral affairs and regional competitiveness.

Read the paper…