Category Archives: Trade

Restarting the blog: Why now?

After a long hiatus, I’ve decided to restart this blog on Mexican politics. 

Why now?  The current moment in Mexico is the most critical in decades: 

  • Weak, lame-duck President without a game plan for final two years of his term;
  • Political fragmentation, with the next president likely to be elected with under 30% of the vote;
  • Inability of the political system to address drug violence and public corruption;
  • Country’s (and government’s) financial position still solid, but slipping;
  • Chronic slow economic growth;

And, of course,

  • Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on NAFTA, Mexican migrants in the U.S., and—indeed—the dignity of the Mexican people.

While I am an optimist at heart about Mexico, today for the first time in many years the risk exists that the country will take a sharp turn in the wrong direction, putting at risk decades of progress in economic modernization and integration into the world economy, tens of billions of dollars of investment, the advent of democratic governance, and close, constructive relations with the United States.   

 

Mexico hosts Rio Group summit; negotiations start on Brazil free trade agreement

The Latin America head of states “Unity Summit” starts today in Cancún, with President Calderón as host. The group is expected to announce the decision to go forward with a new regional organization that would include all Latin American and Caribbean countries, but exclude the U.S. and Canada. According to Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa Castellanos, “The idea to have a forum—for the region and from the region—came from a proposal of President Calderón. We sincerely believe that it will assist in promoting greater integration. … From outside, it will strengthen the voice of the subcontinent.” The scope and legal framework for the new organization will not be decided until June 2011.

The government is also taking advantage of the presence of President Lula to announce the start the negotiations of a Mexico-Brazil free trade agreement. Economy Secretary Gerardo Ruíz will be in charge of the Mexican negotiating team. (SRE 2/20, Universal 2/21)