“Chicharito” might not be Mexico’s best, but …

ESPNfc – At age 28, Javier “El Chicharito” Hernandez could end the international break as the top scorer in the history of the Mexico national team, a statistic that may or may not be significant, but at the end of the day shows the kind of goal scorer and player with whom Mexican soccer has been blessed.

http://www.espnfc.com/team/mexico/203/blog/post/3087622/javier-chicharito-hernandez-may-not-be-mexico-best-ever-but-scoring-record-is-worthy-of-praise

The food and farm fallout from a possible Trump trade war with Mexico

A variety of Mexican food products ready for export to the U.S.
A variety of Mexican food products ready for export to the U.S.

By Christina Cooke / Civil Eats

The menu at Centro, a popular Mexican restaurant in downtown Raleigh, N.C., relies on avocados, lemons, limes, and cheeses like queso fresco and cotija imported from Mexico. Since election day, Centro owner and chef Angela Salamanca, like many restaurateurs across the country, has grown increasingly nervous as she’s watched the Trump administration pursue a hostile stance toward Mexico on issues related to trade.

“… If there’s a tax imposed on Mexican products, we’ll be in serious trouble, and not just for our food, for our Mezcal, too. We would have to reconfigure our business. What would our offering be if we couldn’t have access to the necessities of Mexican cuisine?” Salamanca said.

Behind Canada, Mexico is the largest supplier of agricultural goods to the United States, selling $21 billion worth of food to Americans in 2015, including $4.8 billion in fresh vegetables, $4.3 billion in other fresh fruit, $2.7 billion in wine and beer, and $1.4 billion in processed fruit and vegetables.

Because U.S. agriculture is so intertwined with the Mexican economy, the U.S. has a lot to lose in a trade war. As do American eaters: A full 93 percent of the Hass avocadoes in the U.S. come from Mexico, as well as 71 percent of the tomatoes and 15 percent of the sugar. Additionally, the U.S. imports 79 percent of its neighbor’s exported tequila.

Nevertheless, the Trump administration is taking an aggressive stance toward its southern neighbor.

Days after his inauguration, the Trump team floated the idea of a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico as a way to pay for the wall. House Republicans have proposed a different idea, a “border-adjustment” tax on imports.

The president has also voiced his intention to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). If he can’t renegotiate the agreement to get a “better deal” for the American worker, the president has threatened to withdraw completely.

Ben Lilliston, the director of corporate strategies and climate change with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, points out that the administration, which still does not have a Department of Agriculture head in place, is not paying much attention to the needs of farmers as it thinks about trade policy.

“When you go after manufacturing, agriculture and food get hit in the crossfire of that trade fight,” Lilliston said. And, he adds, “Agriculture is probably the most sensitive topic in any trade negotiation, because it’s about food security.”

http://civileats.com/2017/03/21/the-food-and-farm-fallout-from-a-trade-war-with-mexico/

Mexico threatens to ditch U.S. corn imports

ENCA – Mexico has identified a potential weapon in its trade wrangle with US President Donald Trump: lucrative yellow cobs of American corn. The Latin American nation imports billions of dollars’ worth of the yellow grain from the United States to feed its livestock. But with Trump pushing to shake up the countries’ trade ties, Mexico is now threatening to buy from elsewhere.

https://www.enca.com/money/mexico-threatens-to-ditch-us-corn-imports

Eni hits oil in first offshore Mexico well

Financial Times – Italian oil company Eni has discovered “meaningful” reserves of oil off the coast of Mexico after drilling the first well by an international oil company since Mexico opened up its long closed oil sector to private investment under a 2013 reform. “Reserves are still being assessed, but the well indicates a meaningful upside to the original estimates,” Eni said in a statement.

https://www.ft.com/content/2cf085af-9d85-315e-ad63-9f09099a93ee

How drug cartels get U.S. guns into Mexico

Houston Chronicle – Guns aren’t so easy to get in Mexico, but in the United States, it’s a whole different story. That’s why, federal prosecutors say, organizations like the Gulf Cartel and other drug selling operations turn to buyers in America to help them assemble arsenals they otherwise wouldn’t be able to accumulate.

http://www.chron.com/crime/article/To-get-guns-cartels-use-straw-buyers-in-U-S-11017900.php

U.S.-Mexico security cooperation is at risk

Washington Post – For much of their history, the United States and Mexico had a wary relationship and security cooperation was limited. But over the past two decades, as their economies have become more ­interdependent, the countries have developed an extraordinary level of collaboration in addressing terrorist threats and capturing dangerous criminals. Today, that partnership is at risk.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/us-mexican-security-cooperation-is-at-a-historic-high-will-that-change-under-trump/2017/03/17/dee0e92f-8ae5-4b26-a5e0-fa32e7cf71ce_story.html?utm_term=.d4c925963ca0

U.S. banks brace for possible Mexico trade war

American Banker – U.S. community banks would be worst hit if President Trump’s threats to upend the North American Free Trade Agreement or impose a 35% tariff on Mexican imports sparks a trade war. Lenders in the U.S. farming heartland and across Texas and California could face big losses if Mexico were to slap retaliatory tariffs on U.S. grains to counter Trump’s protectionist policies, several bankers and analysts said.

https://www.americanbanker.com/news/us-banks-brace-for-possible-trade-war-with-mexico

The Donald Trump Show’s surprise winner just might be Mexico

All things being equal, Mexico seems poised to capitalize on the twin benefits of a surging U.S. economy and a weak currency.
All things being equal, Mexico seems poised to capitalize on the twin benefits of a surging U.S. economy and a weak currency.

By Joe Chidley / Financial Post

A surface reading of the Donald Trump’s impact on the global economy suggests that there is one clear and present loser: Mexico. The new president has hurled so many threats down Mexico way, it’s actually hard to remember all of them.

Let’s see, there’s the wall (which he’ll get Mexico to pay for, somehow), and the “big border tax” on Mexican imports, and also the broader border adjustment tax on all imports. There’s NAFTA renegotiation (which, we Canadians like to think, will hurt Mexico more than us) and the crackdown on undocumented immigrants, and the snubs to Mexico’s leadership.

I’m probably missing something, but even that short list adds up to bad news for NAFTA’s third amigo, right? You would think investors must be running for the hills.

And for a time, they did: In the 10 days following Trump’s Nov. 8 victory, the Mexican Bolsa index, or Mexbol, fell off a cliff, plummeting 8.5 per cent and sealing Mexico’s fate as one of the 10 worst-performing markets in the world in 2016.

The story since then, however, provides an interesting counter-story to all the bad news for Mexico. In fact, despite all the doom-and-gloom and the threats from the White House, investors in the Mexican market have been doing rather well, thank you.

Last Friday, the iShares MSCI Mexico ETF – a popular entry point to the Mexican market for outside investors – rose 1.5 per cent, putting the fund’s three-month return near 13 per cent.

More remarkable, perhaps, was that the Mexbol hit (and then surpassed) 48,470 — where it sat at end of day on Nov. 8, 2016, when Hillary Clinton was still widely expected to become the next president of the United States.

So, you might ask yourself, what happened to the Trump effect? Well, this might be in part a case where the disease is part of the cure — namely, the impact on the Mexican peso and the boost it has given to Mexico’s export competitiveness.

http://business.financialpost.com/investing/investing-pro/the-donald-trump-shows-surprise-winner-just-might-be-mexico

Mexico threatens to ditch U.S. corn imports

ENCA – Mexico has identified a potential weapon in its trade wrangle with US President Donald Trump: lucrative yellow cobs of American corn. The Latin American nation imports billions of dollars’ worth of the yellow grain from the United States to feed its livestock. But with Trump pushing to shake up the countries’ trade ties, Mexico is now threatening to buy from elsewhere.

https://www.enca.com/money/mexico-threatens-to-ditch-us-corn-imports

Jaime Serra on why he doesn’t take Trump seriously

Marketplace – When the United States, Mexico, and Canada launched the negotiations for NAFTA, each nation sent a delegate to work out the details. Mexico sent Dr. Jaime Serra, the Minister of Trade and Industry there at the time. He joined Carla Hills from the United States and Michael Wilson from Canada. The trio worked together over several months to put together the deal. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked to Serra about his experience and what he sees for the future of NAFTA in the Trump administration. An edited transcript of the conversation follows.

https://www.marketplace.org/2017/03/20/economy/no-love-or-hate-for-trump-nafta-architect-says

AMLO steals spotlight as Nafta woes ease

Bloomberg – With White House officials saying they’re confident a trade deal can be reached to benefit both Mexico and the U.S., the peso has regained more than half of the losses it saw after Donald Trump’s victory pushed it to record lows. Talks aren’t expected until late this year, allowing investors to turn their attention to the next big risk for the Latin American country: a presidential win by opposition candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as Amlo.

Vacationing Americans chant “Build the wall”

Global News – Anaximandro and Sully Amable were all set to enjoy a night watching a pirate show on a boat in the waters off of Cancun. That’s when some U.S. tourists aboard the ship started chanting “build the wall,” in a reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. The chanting didn’t stop even after it clearly made Mexican workers and tourists aboard the ship uncomfortable.

http://globalnews.ca/news/3323468/americans-build-the-wall-cancun/