Tag Archives: free trade

NAFTA turns 20 this month

NAFTAHow time flies.  One minute you’re wiping your kid’s rear, and the next you’re dropping her off at college.  We don’t have children of our own, but we do sense the swift passing of time (not to mention, at times, the smell of poo in the air) on the occasion this month of the 20th anniversary of the entry into effect of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  We well recall huddling around a TV screen with our colleagues in the newsroom of El Economista in November 1993 to watch the historic U.S. Congressional vote approving the controversial trade pact.  We, naturally, were in favor; many others in all three countries were vehemently against, and that much certainly has not changed.  Continue reading NAFTA turns 20 this month

Brazil weasels on auto trade with Mexico

Setting trade policy?
Setting trade policy?

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