Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has made a career out of railing against the neoliberal capitalist model of at least Mexico’s last five governments. He was swept into office last year most likely on the promise of putting an end to systemic government corruption, but along the way he dwelled heavily on providing relief to the poorest sectors of society. The new president’s populist themes also include food and energy self-sufficiency, a nod to the import-substitution model popular among Latin American governments in the 1960s. In order to take on two of these targets at once, AMLO has been rolling out a series of new programs to “rescue the countryside” (rescatar al campo) by providing focused support to small producers of basic foodstuffs. Continue reading Will new agriculture policy affect import markets?
Disclaimer: The topic of this post is the growth of Airbnb in Mexico City and its impact on the demographics of the city’s central zone. The conclusions presented here are drawn not from rigorous data analysis but rather from wild speculation based on our trips back and forth to the market and grocery store in the Colonia Roma neighborhood.
We have been dragging our ratty plastic market bag back and forth to Medellín market in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma for weekly food shopping since as far back as we can remember, which due to youthful excess only goes back to about the 1990s at this point. Outside of the recent boom in apartment building construction, the landscape didn’t change much over time, especially in the market: a demo heavily weighted toward middle aged neighborhood Janes kvetching about the skyrocketing price of chilacayote and what have you. But about three years or so ago, we began to notice an uptick in the number of young women of foreign appearance, many with yellow ponytails, along our customary route and in the market itself. The uptick has now turned into a veritable tsunami of foreign visitors in their early 20s, to the point where it seems unusual to hear Spanish spoken at the Sumesa grocery store on Av. Yucatán. What happened? Continue reading Airbnb growing like SCOBY in Mexico City
In March 2012, Brazil insisted on putting artificial curbs on imports of Mexican-made automobiles, contrary to the long-standing pact governing vehicle trade between Mexico and the Mercosur trade bloc comprised of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. We’re in a snit about this, because the move creates problems for Mexico and in general adds to the list of alarming actions coming out of Mercosur countries lately that are undermining the environment for trade and investment.
The Economic Complementation Agreement No. 55, known as ACE 55, was negotiated between Mexico and Mercosur in 2002 as a means of reducing tariffs on vehicles and auto parts to facilitate trade in these goods between the five countries. It worked; automotive trade surged and the deal seemed to suit Brazil just fine as the South American giant racked up a trade surplus in cars with Mexico year after year. Continue reading Brazil weasels on auto trade with Mexico