Earlier this month, the United States invited Mexico and Canada to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact negotiations, generating a certain amount of chatter in the media regarding the proposed agreement. After reading through numerous articles on the TPP, we can’t help being reminded of the 1958 horror flick “The Blob”, starring Steve McQueen. A ball of goo pops out of a fallen comet and gets bigger and bigger as it snarfs up the helpless townsfolk, while all the while everyone wonders, ‘what is that thing?’
The TPP apparently began in 2003 as trade talks between Chile, Singapore and New Zealand, then added Brunei in 2005, and was joined by the United States in 2008, followed by Australia, Vietnam and Peru, and then Malaysia in 2010. Now Mexico and Canada have been invited to join, Japan is pondering the possibility as well, and still, a lot of folks including ourselves are asking just what the heck is that thing. Continue reading Mexico and the Trans-Pacific Partnership→
Since the launch of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, the Mexican government has pursued additional trade liberalization pacts aggressively. Remarkably, legislators recently managed to advance on three trade fronts before tearing off to have fun for the holidays.
The first step forward was the November 22 signing of a new single free trade agreement between Mexico and Central America, which our Mexico Today colleague Sean Goforth discussed in a recent post to Foreign Policy Blogs. Economy Minister Bruno Ferrari and his team had a tougher time, however, with their effort to push through an expanded trade liberalization agreement with Peru. The proposed pact spent much of this year under consideration in the Mexican Congress before being rejected by the Senate Trade and Industrial Development Committee on December 14, to the supreme aggravation of the Calderón administration. Despite having the support of various industrial sectors, the Peru deal was initially blocked by influential agricultural interests over fears of increased competition from Peruvian avocados, beans, potatoes and other farm products. Ferrari faced not only the vexation of the jilted Peruvians but a potential blow to Mexico’s free trade bona fides as it flirts with possible inclusion in the developing Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc. In a surprising turnabout, however, the treaty squeaked through in a vote by the full Senate on December 15, and now goes to President Calderón for signing. Continue reading Hot trade pact action under the wire as year expires→