Category Archives: Trade

Mexico-Europe FTA sparks cheesy wrangle

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is getting all the headlines these days, but under the radar, Mexico is also renegotiating its Free Trade Agreement (TLCUEM) with the European Union (EU) at the same time.   Negotiators for Mexico and the EU recently concluded the ninth round of talks, and while progress overall seems to be satisfactory, a cheesy conundrum has hove to the fore.  The EU seeks to reserve denomination of origin rights to the names of numerous cheeses, but Mexico is balking hard at some of the items on the list.  The case of Manchego cheese is among the top sticking points.  Manchego cheese, named after its region of origin in Spain, is a beloved Spanish artisanal sheep’s milk product.  Mexico, however, produces large quantities of a decidedly un-gourmet cow’s milk cheese labeled as Manchego.  If the EU were to have its way, Mexican producers would no longer be permitted to use the Manchego name on their cheese products. Continue reading Mexico-Europe FTA sparks cheesy wrangle

Animal feed industry eyes NAFTA talks warily

The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Mexico, Canada and the United States continues to trudge on, with the fate of the agreement hanging in the balance.  The U.S. government initiated the renegotiation at the behest of President Donald Trump, who has reiterated his willingness to abandon the pact on multiple occasions.  But it appears that Mr. Trump is working himself into something of a political pickle, since if he actually made good on this threats and pulled the United States out of NAFTA, it could cause serious consequences for some bedrock sectors of his own party in the run-up to mid-term Congressional elections in the U.S. this year.  This has not been lost on midwestern grain farmers, most of whom – we’re just going to go out on a limb and take a guess here – probably voted for Mr. Trump in the 2016 presidential election.  Grain exports are very important to midwestern grain farmers in states such as Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa, for which Mexico ranks as either number one or number two export market for overall exports.  Not all grain exports are used to produce animal feed, but lately we’ve been languidly gazing at statistics on livestock feed production to allay our vespertine torpor, and it looks to us like they paint a pretty clear picture about the impact of public policy on industry. Continue reading Animal feed industry eyes NAFTA talks warily

Mexico faces uncertainty in 2018

We’ll try to make this brief since *cough* we have a date with the holiday punch bowl and we presume most of our assiduous readers are already there.  Once again to our astonishment we find ourselves at the last working day of the year, feeling like we were just here a minute ago in 2016.  But a lot has happened over the past year that is having a big impact on Mexico, North America and the rest of the world, so we’ll just throw out a few thoughts on the topic before we grab the Riunite out of the coffee nook fridge and head out to the house parties. Continue reading Mexico faces uncertainty in 2018