We were surprised to see announcements early this month that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue would be arriving imminently in Mexico at the head of a major agricultural trade mission. Surprised, for one, because we hadn’t heard a peep about such a large-scale, high profile mission, which was announced only the day before the group arrived in Mexico City. And two, because the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship – particularly in agriculture — has been nothing if not fraught with conflict during the Trump administration. Continue reading U.S. sends ag trade mission to Mexico
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?
Mexico’s Senate voted June 19 to ratify the USMCA trade agreement, making Mexico the first of the three North American countries to reach this milestone. The vote of 114 in favor to five against demonstrates the firm support for free trade on the part of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and his Morena party, which holds more than twice as many Senate seats as the largest opposition party. Interestingly, four of the five votes against the USMCA came from members of the president’s own party, further underscoring the broad support for the deal across the political spectrum. With Canada seemingly moving ahead toward ratification, concern in Mexico appears to be focused on internal political struggles in the United States that could potentially derail ratification in the region’s largest economy. Continue reading Mexican Senate ratifies USMCA