Since the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, concern over how this will affect Mexico has vaulted to the forefront of public debate on this side of the border. We worry about all the new problems we (probably? maybe?) will have from topics on the table such as NAFTA repeal, mass deportations, the border wall, etc. We wring our hands publicly about the plight of Mexican migrants in the USA, but mostly we’re thinking about what will become of us here at home. For this reason, we asked a colleague based in the United States to provide us some perspective from north of the border, particularly with regard to the impact on binational families such as his. Journalist Steve Cannon lived in Mexico City for many years before moving to the United States with his family in 2016. As a family including both U.S. and Mexico passport holders – of which there are many in both countries – the Cannons now face challenges and uncertainty that may not have seemed apparent before last November’s presidential election. Mexico Business Blog greatly appreciates the thoughts that Steve has shared with us, which follow below. Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged Nafta
Now that the United States is loudly breaking up with Mexico on social, Mexico is suddenly on the prowl for hot rebound trade with other markets. This is how it looks from here anyway, with Mexican officials popping up all over the media saying some country or other is going to be a big new market for Mexican exports. The new U.S. administration’s threats to dismantle the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are currently stoking the flames of economic terror in Mexico, but we all know that Mexico’s dependency on the U.S. export market has been the stuff of economists’ nightmares for decades. To put it in perspective, the share of Mexico’s annual exports shipped to the USA has not dropped below 79% since some time before 1993, if it ever has. From 1998 to 2001, the concentration of Mexican exports destined for the U.S. market hovered near a truly bloodcurdling 89%. So it’s not like we didn’t know we were exposed to risk from overdependence on one market, but after 25 years of trade-loving U.S. governments, we became accustomed to living in denial. Read the rest of this entry »
The victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election of November 8, 2016 casts a dark, cold shadow over the relationship between the United States and Mexico. On one hand, Mr. Trump has expressed his opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which we support. Since entering into effect in 1994, this agreement has been implemented painstakingly through tremendous effort by all sides, and has built a trade relationship in which Mexico represented a market of US$267 billion for U.S. goods and services in 2015. Putting up barriers to the Mexican and Canadian markets for U.S. exporters for the presumed purpose of saving jobs in the United States risks destroying many of the jobs this trade has created.
But for Mexicans, the election of Mr. Trump cannot help but be seen as a deeply personal affront. Throughout the campaign, the U.S. President-elect repeatedly expressed disdain and derision toward Mexican immigrants in the United States, which many people in this country take as a personal insult to all Mexicans. Mr. Trump is a crass boor. But the fact that a majority of American voters validated his harshly worded opinions about Mexicans (not to mention Muslims, women and other people) sends a clear and chilling message to Mexico and to the world that the American people share these opinions and values. This stunning revelation will now hang like a toxic cloud over every business meeting, trade mission, trade show and even long-running relationships between business people in the two countries. We can only hope that the intelligence and personal grace of individual business people will help to buffer the damage the election of Donald Trump will do to the U.S.-Mexico relationship. But make no mistake, the resentment is deep, and this cannot be good for our economic and personal relations going forward.
In October 2015, officials from 12 countries bordering the Pacific ocean, including Mexico and the United States, reached agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade facilitation accord. The text of the pact, which still must be approved by the participants’ parliamentary bodies, was released only this past November, opening debate on its merits to the sectors of the economy that may be affected by the deal in each country. Although Mexico, the United States and Canada have long enjoyed free trade under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the new agreement stands to impact North American relations by increasing access to trade with Asian TPP member nations. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the most common complaints we hear in our business and travel between Mexico and the United States is how long it takes to cross the border, whether one is a vacationer or a shipping container full of merchandise. Considering the huge volume of trade between the two countries and 20 years of experience under NAFTA, it is remarkable how difficult or at least time consuming the process still can be. Fortunately, two new initiatives recently put into place suggest that authorities and the private sector are trying to find ways to improve procedures. Read the rest of this entry »