U.S. Allows Limited Oil Exports to Mexico

8/14/15 The New York Times

energy - oil pumpsThe Obama administration on Friday gave oil companies temporary permission to export a limited amount of oil to Mexico at a time when a glut is cutting into domestic petroleum profits and employment.

The decision by the Commerce Department fell short of removing a ban on crude exports that goes back to the 1970s, when international oil boycotts produced long lines at gasoline stations and threatened the American economy. It also does not make a broad national security exception for Mexico, which has long existed for Canada, to release larger-scale exports.

But support for an end to the ban is growing in Congress among Republicans and Democrats from oil states like Texas. The administration has been reluctant to remove the ban, although it has already given permission over the last two years to American producers to sell some extra-light forms of crude, called condensates, on a limited basis.

The oil industry lent cautious applause to the administration’s move, but repeated its calls for a complete end to the export ban.

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Obama looks to Asia as trade markets beckon south: One-up on China seen as objective

Washington Times, 9/12/2012

President Obama’s postelection trip to Southeast Asia presages a greater  second-term focus on that region, but some foreign-policy analysts say that  shouldn’t distract from the need to build better alliances with U.S. neighbors,  which could be key to restoring the nation’s sluggish economy.

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WTO Rules on Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling



WTO rules against ‘dolphin safe’ tuna labels

The Hill, 5/16/12

The World Trade Organization’s appeals court on Tuesday ruled against U.S. “dolphin safe” tuna labels, in a move that will likely enrage U.S. environmental activists. The ruling could be one of the most controversial in years. The tuna/dolphin case in the early 1990s sparked protests against the WTO’s predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

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WTO final ruling in favor of fair access of Mexican tune exports to the United States

Embajada de Mexico, 5/16/12

The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body ruled in favor of Mexico and of the environment by finding that the dolphin-safe label contravenes the United States’ WTO obligations.  The ruling recognizes efforts undertaken by Mexico and Mexican fisheries to promote dolphin and marine ecosystem sustainability.

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The summary of key findings in the dispute settlement can be read here, at the WTO’s website.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Talks Advance in Texas

Office of the United States Trade Representative, 5/16/12

The United States said today that TPP partners – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam – made better-than-expected progress at the twelfth round of negotiations that formally concluded today outside Dallas, Texas.

U.S. negotiators have reported to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk that the progress achieved during this round has further narrowed differences in the text and the teams can now see a clear path forward toward conclusion of most of the more than 20 chapters of the agreement. A few TPP negotiating groups will continue to meet in Texas for the remainder of this week.

The TPP agreement is an important element of the Obama Administration’s efforts to support the creation and retention of high-quality jobs for Americans by increasing exports to the vibrant economies of the Asia-Pacific region. The United States and its eight partners are determined to expeditiously complete a comprehensive, next-generation agreement. During this eleven-day negotiating round, the teams focused heavily on making as much progress as possible on the texts of the agreement.

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AL DÍA: U.S.-Mexico Goods and Services Trade Reaches Half Trillion Dollars

Mexico Institute, 5/16/12

Christopher Wilson

Perhaps it is a metaphor for the bilateral economic relationship in general. Without celebration or even much recognition, U.S.-Mexico goods and services trade probably reached the major milestone of a half trillion dollars in 2011.

This incredible volume of commerce is testament to a vast network of cross-border ties that have intimately linked the economies of the United States and Mexico, forging a natural economic alliance between the two countries. In recent years, the incredible expansion in mutually beneficial bilateral commerce has gone relatively unnoticed behind the headlines about drugs and violence, despite its very real positive impact on the lives of Americans and Mexicans alike.

Bilateral trade is made not only of finished products like cars, washing machines, tomatoes and grains, but also the parts that factories on each side of the border use to build everything from small electronics to massive airplanes. In fact, it is this trade in industrial inputs that most deeply binds the U.S. and Mexican economies as the integrated North American manufacturing sector works across national boundaries to build final products for sale on the world market.

Continue reading “AL DÍA: U.S.-Mexico Goods and Services Trade Reaches Half Trillion Dollars”

Chihuahua City is big dog in Mexico aerospace

The Washington Times, 5/14/12

When a jumbo jetliner touches down almost anywhere in the world, the last thing on the pilot’s mind is that the plane’s brakes likely were made in the capital of one of the most crime-riddled states in Mexico. Behind the headlines of warring drug gangs and a soaring murder rate in Mexico, a fast-growing high-tech economy centered on the aerospace industry has sprung up in recent years.

In Chihuahua City alone, 36 aerospace plants have opened since 2007 as a growing number of international parts makers use the city as a base for tapping a massive airplane-production market in the United States. “Our first objective was to get into the U.S. market and get a deal with U.S. customers,” said Nicolas Maillard, director of the French-owned Manoir Aerospace plant in Chihuahua City, 235 miles south of El Paso, Texas.

Shiny, precision-shaped steel discs produced by the plant are shipped to companies in Ohio and Kentucky, where they are added into the assembly line for brake systems on the Boeing Co.’s commercial airplanes. With the average cost of manufacturing labor running about $6 per hour in the city, a new era of high-tech growth is taking root. “The real advantage is the cost of labor,” Mr. Maillard said. “In France, labor would account for about 30 percent of the cost of production on an item like this. Here, it’s roughly 10 percent, and we’re closer to the market we’re trying to reach.”

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Op-ed: Mexico’s secretary of economy: We deserve a seat at trade table

The Dallas Morning News, Bruno Ferrari, 5/4/12

While governments and the public have been concentrating on challenges to global financial recovery, a historic economic alliance has been budding in meetings held around the world. The alliance is called the TPP, for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an ambitious accord to promote a significant expansion of trade among Pacific nations, and this week Dallas hosts the 12th round of TPP negotiations.

What exactly is the TPP? It is composed of nine nations — the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia , New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Their aim is to create a free-trade zone that not only eliminates tariff and nontariff barriers to goods and services but also develops regional supply chains to speed the production, sale and movement of goods, coordinates regulatory regimes, helps small- and medium-sized firms export more, and ensures state-owned enterprises compete fairly with private companies.

The TPP negotiations are the most important trade talks in the world, and the TPP accession process requires consensus. The United States should take the lead to give Mexico a seat at the table.

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