In the first year of a big soda tax in Mexico, sales of sugary drinks fell. In the second year, they fell further, according to new research.
The finding represents the best evidence to date of how sizable taxes on sugary drinks, increasingly favored by large American cities, may influence consumer behavior. The results could have consequences for public health.
Mexico’s soda tax took effect in 2014, and applied to all beverages that included added sugar, including carbonated soft drinks, fruit drinks and sweetened iced teas. The effort was pushed by public health advocates who argued that liquid sugar was contributing to the country’s high burden of obesity and diabetes.
Studies on the first year of the tax found that sugary beverage consumption fell substantially, with the biggest decreases among low-income Mexicans — the group at highest risk of obesity-related diseases. But industry analysts and anti-tax advocates had argued that the one-year results could just be a blip that would reverse as companies retooled their products, or as consumers adjusted to higher prices for their favorite drinks.
The new study, published online Wednesday in Health Affairs, shows that the results of such a tax may be far more long-lasting. The research, based on shopping data from a large sample of urban Mexican households, showed that the first year’s consumption declines continued during the second year.
VoA – U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly met Thursday with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and members of his cabinet, in what is expected to be the first in a series of high-level meetings focusing on drug trafficking, trade and immigration.
The two key members of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet were hoping to soothe concern and anger about the new U.S. administration’s policies toward Mexico.
Reuters – Mexico reacted with anger on Wednesday to what one official called “hostile” new U.S. immigration guidelines hours before senior Trump administration envoys began arriving in Mexico City for talks on the volatile issue.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security unveiled plans to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation, and will seek to send many of them to Mexico if they entered the United States from there, regardless of nationality.
UPI – While Mexicans share a deep dislike of U.S. President Donald Trump, they are not fond of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto either. His 17 percent approval ratings are the lowest recorded for a Mexican president.
LAT – A Mexican man who had just been deported from the United States is believed to have leaped to his death from a bridge near the Tijuana-San Diego border crossing. The prosecutor’s office in Baja California said the death of Guadalupe Olives Valencia, 44, is being investigated as a suicide.
JTA – Three Israeli single fathers whose babies were born in Mexico to surrogate mothers cannot fly their children to the Jewish state because local authorities are refusing to issue birth certificates.
BBC – Official figures from Mexico show that the number of homicides was higher by a third in January compared to the same month of 2016. Authorities believe the spike in violence is linked to the extradition of the drug lord, Joaquin Guzman, known as “El Chapo.”
CBC – It might be too early to say where the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement will lead, but the foreign ministers of Canada and Mexico already agree they don’t want to sacrifice one relationship for another.
Goal – Porto suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League game on Wednesday night, but the misery continued after the game as the severity of Hector Herrera’s foot injury was revealed.
Reuters – Mexico’s Grupo Televisa said that it would slash its capital expenditure in 2017 by more than one third to around $1 billion. The broadcaster and world’s leading Spanish-language content provider said that most of the cut would come in its cable division.
CNS – Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. John Kelly has ordered a report detailing and totaling “all sources” of U.S. taxpayer money given to the government of Mexico over the past five years – and it’s due in 30 days.
There’s a new self-imposed, fear-inspired travel ban happening among American travelers.
U.S.-based travelers are increasingly canceling trips to Mexico, reports Travel Weekly. According to a recent survey of 166 travel agents conducted by the MAST Travel Network, eight percent said they have clients who have canceled or re-booked trips to other destinations.
MAST also said 52 percent of the agents reported they have clients who specifically indicated that they did not want to travel to Mexico, while 49 percent said their clients do not want to travel internationally.
“The intensifying issues of immigration, the border wall, and trade are, in my view, going to cause some customers to think twice about a vacation in Mexico if they feel they are not welcome,” John Werner, president and COO of MAST, told Travel Weekly.
Mexico remains MAST’s most popular destination for leisure travelers.
Ford Mexico CEO Gabriel Lopez said at a company event in Mexico City Thursday that it’s going ahead with plans to expand two of its plants — an engine plant in Chihuahua and a transmission plant in Irapuato.
Guardian – If Donald Trump deports millions of people, Mexico’s call centers will have one word for him – and it won’t be gracias; it’ll be thanks. The booming industry needs English speakers to service US customers, and the US president seems set to oblige with a deportation force that could banish record numbers of Americanized Mexicans south of the border.
The Verge – Google News is launching its fact-checking feature in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to counteract fake news. In a blog post published on Wednesday, Richard Gingras, VP of Google News, said that users in the three countries will now see links from fact-checking websites in Google News search results.
PV Tech – Mexico will add 5GW of new clean energy to existing capacity, representing 170% growth in generation for wind and solar over the last 18 years, secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquín Coldwell has said.
Washington Post Soccer leaders in the United States, Mexico and Canada already were talking about a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup, so they likely were well prepared for FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s announcement Thursday that FIFA will encourage bidders for soccer’s biggest tournament to partner up.