Harvard Business Review – Multinational companies operating in Mexico are facing a great deal of uncertainty. The possibility of a contentious renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement has led to delayed or canceled investments in what has been one of Latin America’s most economically stable markets. Mexico’s fast-approaching July 2018 general election, of which the populist leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador is the current frontrunner, is further making the case for incremental investments by multinationals corporations.
AZPM -Numbers released on Arizona’s trade relationship with Mexico are causing concern in the business community. But economists say it is too soon to know for sure if Arizona’s trade relationship with Mexico is in trouble. The annual report from the University of Arizona shows Arizona’s exports to Mexico fell by more than 9 percent from one year to the next.
By Kinsey Grant / The Street
Mexican imports of U.S. soybean meal dropped 15 percent, chicken 11 percent and corn 6 percent in the first four months of 2017 amid friction between the two neighboring countries over NAFTA.
Soybean meal exports decreased for the first time in four years and chicken exports marked the biggest decline since 2003. Mexico is U.S. farmers’ largest export market for soybean meal, chicken and corn.
The decreasing figures illustrate Mexico’s move to reduce its reliance on the U.S. for commodities as President Trump looks to renegotiate NAFTA. This comes as U.S. farmers deal with low commodity prices and excess supply.
Raul Urteaga Trani, head of international affairs for Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture, led a group of Mexican business leaders to South America to explore trade of soybeans, corn and wheat.
“We have to send a signal to policymakers in Washington, and emphasize that we are not sitting still,” Trani said.
The Hill – The U.S. sugar industry has announced support for a tweaked trade deal with Mexico after initially opposing the long-awaited agreement. The American Sugar Alliance, which represents sugar farmers and producers, told the Commerce Department that it will back the “tightened” deal aimed at bringing Mexico’s sugar industry into compliance with U.S. law.
Times Record News – Texas’ largest business associations are forming a coalition to protect and foster trade opportunities between the United States and Mexico amid a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement spearheaded by the Trump administration.
Reuters – For the last U.S.-based manufacturer of the red and white striped candy cane that is a ubiquitous North American holiday season treat, the sugar supply deal struck between Mexico and Washington is anything but sweet.
Marketplace – As the U.S. re-examines its trade relationship with Mexico, some in Mexico are doing the same – questioning reliance on trade with the north. One focus is natural gas. Pipelines now carry a record-setting amount of that fuel south across the border.
By Adriana Barrera / Reuters
Mexican sugar producers still want an investigation into suspected dumping in Mexico by U.S. fructose producers even after a U.S.-Mexico deal on access to the U.S. sugar market, the head of the Mexican sugar industry group said on Wednesday.
The sugar lobby last month said it had asked the Mexican economy ministry to investigate U.S. high-fructose corn syrup imports, saying there was “solid” evidence of dumping.
Mexico on Tuesday conceded to U.S. demands for changes in the terms of Mexican access to the lucrative U.S. sugar market, but U.S. sugar producers refused to endorse the deal.
The agreement would avert possible steep U.S. import duties on Mexican sugar and had been seen as lowering the risk of Mexico slapping its own import duties on U.S. high-fructose corn syrup as a retaliatory measure.
“This issue with the U.S. sugar industry is not over,” Juan Cortina, the head of Mexican sugar industry group (CNIAA), told reporters at an event in Mexico City where he said the group would keep pressing for a fructose probe in Mexico.
By Adriana Barrera / Reuters
Anger is simmering across a lush swath of Mexico among poor sugar-cane farmers who face a major blow from trade talks in Washington on Monday, in an ominous preview of the high-stakes renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement set to begin in August.
The United States and Mexico have until today, Monday, to modify a 2014 agreement that set quotas and a price floor on Mexican sugar. U.S. sugar refiners say Mexico’s exports are subsidized, undercutting their business and that the agreement failed to stop dumping.
A new deal could significantly reduce access to the lucrative U.S. market for some 190,000 Mexican farmers, a fifth of whose sugar last year was sold to U.S. buyers, and risks triggering tit-for-tat tariffs that could hurt U.S. corn.
With 2.4 million people estimated to earn livelihoods from sugar across 15 states in Mexico, the spat may also serve as an example of the political minefield the government will face in a broader trade talks later this year, which could affect jobs in the thriving manufacturing sector.
Financial Times – Washington’s frustrated efforts to settle a cross-border row over sugar and the role of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross offers a cautionary tale for Nafta renegotiation.
Reuters – Mexico’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said there are “incentives” to wrap up the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement by the end of the year due to upcoming elections in the United States and Mexico.
Reuters – Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan said that he feels “very strongly” that U.S. trade relationships with Canada and Mexico help U.S. competitiveness, in remarks that come as President Donald Trump looks at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.
By Mark Landler and Binyamin Applebaum / New York Times
President Trump told the leaders of Mexico and Canada on Wednesday that he would not immediately move to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, only hours after an administration official said he was likely to sign an order that would begin the process of pulling the United States out of the deal.
In what the White House described as “pleasant and productive” evening phone calls with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada,Trump said he would quickly start the process of renegotiating Nafta — not abandon it, as he said he would do during the 2016 presidential campaign if he could not rework the deal to his satisfaction.
“It is my privilege to bring NAFTA up-to-date through renegotiation,” Trump said in a statement issued by the White House at 10:33 p.m. “I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better.”
The announcement appeared to be an example of Trump’s deal-making in real time. It followed a day in which officials signaled that he was laying the groundwork to pull out of Nafta — a move intended to increase pressure on Congress to authorize new negotiations, and on Canada and Mexico to accede to American demands.
It was not clear whether the president would still sign an executive action to authorize renegotiation of Nafta, which he once called the worst trade deal ever signed by the United States.
CNBC – U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday that Chinese goods dumped in Mexico are finding their way to the United States. “Mexico’s trade deficit with China is approximately equal to their trade surplus to us. It’s not an accident,” he said.
NPR – Mexico has long argued that U.S. labeling rules for dolphin-safe tuna unfairly restrict its access to the U.S. market. And in a decision Tuesday, the World Trade Organization agreed, saying Mexico may seek $163 million annually from the U.S. in retaliatory measures.
Bloomberg – Even as the Trump administration jousts with Canada over its latest trade dispute, it might want to keep a closer eye on Mexico, America’s No. 1 one dairy importer. Its southern neighbor, which figures prominently in the U.S. government’s crime and immigration rhetoric, spent almost twice as much money as Canada did on U.S. dairy in 2016. That’s $1.2 billion.
Bloomberg – A long road remains after Donald Trump fired the starting pistol in yet another softwood lumber fight, one of several trade disputes the U.S. and Canada are set to spend years sorting out.
Texas Observer – In 2015, Texas traded more than $176 billion worth of goods with Mexico (compared to only $71 billion for California). A steep tariff would raise prices for consumer goods, including cars, fruits and vegetables. And a trade war could tank employment too: In the Lone Star State, more than 380,000 jobs depend on trade with Mexico.
AP – U.S dairy farmers already struggling with low milk prices worry President Donald Trump’s talk of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement could harm trade to Mexico, its biggest export market.
About 15 percent of dairy production in the United States is exported with one-third valued at $1.2 billion going to Mexico in the form of milk powder, cheese and whey protein.
Bloomberg – Mexico’s top trade negotiator said he was heartened by a retreat from more protectionist rhetoric in the U.S. and that talks to redo the North American Free Trade Agreement may conclude as soon as January. Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said the January date would depend on the administration of President Donald Trump notifying Congress in time for negotiations to begin by the end of July.