Why the fight over Mexico's labour reforms is the latest threat to new NAFTA deal
Depending how hard the U.S. Democrats dig in, the demands could throw an already troubled ratification process completely off course this year
Mexican lawmakers are expected to soon clear a key hurdle to the ratification of the new North American Free Trade Agreement by passing legislation enabling a major overhaul of the country’s labour laws.
But that might not be enough to win the support of skeptical Congressional Democrats.
Driven by a belief that the original NAFTA failed in its promise to narrow wide gaps in worker rights and wages between Mexico and the U.S., some are demanding to reopen talks in order to negotiate stronger enforcement provisions. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says they’ll also seek proof that the reforms are being implemented.
Depending how hard the Democrats dig in, the demands could throw an already troubled ratification process completely off course this year — particularly now that Canada and Mexico have both said reopening the deal is a non-starter.
https://business.financialpost.com/news ... nafta-deal
The whole issue of labor rights in regards to the new NAFTA is extremely interesting, especially given how it dovetails with Mexican President Lopez-Obrador's populist-progressive stance of reforming labor by rooting out corruption and providing verifiable transparency of labor relations, as well as better wages and conditions. It is also notable that it is the Democrats who are making these demands, but it remains to be seen how much Lopez-Obrador is willing to cede in the side agreements. I have a feeling the new NAFTA will get bogged down in the election year and whatever chaos Drumpf is causing then... But who knows, maybe the labor reform could still end up making Mexico an even more attractive spot for moving factories to, thereby causing another "great sucking sound to the south" thanks to Drumpf...Also, I have a feeling he has no idea what is going on with the new NAFTA, so I guess it all depends on if or when he finds out there is nothing about a wall in the whole damn thing!
Either give me more wine or leave me alone. - Rumi
Adding:The little-noticed surge across the U.S.-Mexico border: It’s Americans heading south
President Trump regularly assails the flow of migrants crossing the Mexican border into the United States. Less noticed has been the surge of people heading in the opposite direction.
Mexico’s statistics institute estimated this month that the U.S.-born population in this country has reached 799,000 — a roughly fourfold increase since 1990. And that is probably an undercount. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City estimates the real number at 1.5 million or more. ...
“It’s beginning to become a very important cultural phenomenon,” Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign minister, said in an interview. “Like the Mexican community in the United States.”
And yet, he said, Mexican authorities know little about the size or needs of their largest immigrant group. He has been tasked by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador with changing that. ...
“Despite the fact that Donald Trump insults my country every day, here we receive the entire international community, beginning with Americans, with open arms and hearts,” Villareal said.
Mexican authorities say that many of the Americans are probably undocumented — typically, they’ve overstayed their six-month visas. But the government has shown little concern.
“We have never pressured them to have their documents in order,” Ebrard said. ...
“We like people who come to work and help the economy of the city — like Mexicans do in the United States.”
Newsweek: Thousands of Americans are Crossing the Border Into Mexico Every Year to Get Affordable Medical Treatment
As to the last link, I know several people who have gone to Mexico for dental work. If I needed even somewhat extensive dental work, I would go to Costa Rica, but that's just me. Everyone who has gone to Mexico has been really happy with it. Some of them could have afforded any price care here in US, but felt they got better care there (especially with dental implants). Saving money was just a nice side effect.
a fresh factory (see above clip) intended to serve among others the US market
Why Trump's Threatened Mexico Tariffs Are Really Bad News for BMW
BY GABRIELLE COPPOLA AND ANDREA NAVARRO / BLOOMBERG JUNE 6, 2019
BMW executives opened the automaker’s first Mexican assembly plant extolling its value for the coming years, just a week after President Donald Trump threatened a fresh tariff threat on Mexican goods.
BMW spent about $1 billion on the plant, set in the vast arid plains of San Luis Potosi in north-central Mexico. It’s one of three — the other two are in Germany and China — that will produce the next-generation 3 Series sedan for sale in the U.S. and other markets.
The automaker has no reason to change its plans for the site because of the current political climate, BMW board member Oliver Zipse at its inauguration Thursday. The factory will supply more than 40 markets worldwide starting next year and “it would be very speculative to make decisions on short-term announcements,” he said.
The timing comes just days after President Trump threatened to impose a 5% tariff on all goods imported from Mexico on June 10, unless that country takes unspecified steps to stop illegal migration from Central America. The levies would escalate every month until reaching 25% in October according to the White House plan.
San Diego Union-Tribune
Americans make up Mexico’s largest demographic of immigrants
The net flow of United States immigrants to Mexico is larger than the flow of Mexican-born immigrants into the United States: Mexican government ...
Americans immigrants living the Mexican dream can have the same hopes and goals of the Mexican immigrant in the U.S.: to get a little ahead or to start a new life.
There may be more Americans living south-of-the-border than previously noticed.
Last month, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador tasked his foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, with gathering data on U.S. immigrants, who also go largely undocumented.
The Mexican government determined Americans are actually Mexico’s largest group of immigrants.
López Obrador mentioned the southbound surge last week during a speech in Tijuana promoting friendship between the two countries.
“A little-cited fact is that in Mexico, there are about 1.2 million Americans. That is, our two countries are protagonists of the largest demographic exchange in the world,” said López Obrador.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said the figure might be an undercount, because many Americans overstay their visa.
Would be interesting to see how many expats are there for retirement and how many are "starting a new life", eg being entrepreneurs even at the Mom and Pop shoplevel, or woeking as employee (most likely in a subsidary of an international company).
Tell me that's not true Paging Mr Gavin Seim prior of Washington State.The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said the figure might be an undercount, because many Americans overstay their visa.
Yeah but we send them our best.
Miami Herald OpEd - Andres Oppenheimer
Mexico’s leader is very popular, but his country is going downhill ...
From what we have seen since his July 1, 2018 election, and especially since his Dec. 1 inauguration, López Obrador is ruling like a narcissist populist who disdains key democratic institutions and who is setting the clock back to Mexico’s inward-looking nationalism of the 1970s.
Those were the some of the thoughts that came to mind this week while I interviewed the most recent U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson. She is a career diplomat who served as President Trump’s ambassador to Mexico before retiring in May 2018. ...
“And if he really wants to erase or reduce corruption in Mexico, what he needs is to strengthen institutions,” she added. “I don’t see that happening. I see a man who sometimes believes that ‘only I can do this or that,’ and that government institutions are only an obstacle to achieve his goals.”
Jacobson concluded that Mexico runs the risk of moving “toward a kind of authoritarianism that could really further damage Mexico’s institutions, which are still weak and need to be strengthened.”
Indeed, despite controlling Congress and enjoying a high popularity rate averaging 62 percent in several polls, López Obrador has made many decisions by questionable “public referendums” run by his loyalists. He has stacked the courts and government agencies with ruling party apparatchiks, and is attacking nongovernment organizations.
It is López Obrador’s public disdain for institutions - more than his leftist rhetoric against what he calls “neoliberal” governments of the past - that is spooking domestic and foreign investors. Many business people fear that there will be fewer checks and balances, and investors will have no legal protections.
Many foresee a return to Mexico’s old days, when the authoritarian Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) - in which López Obrador started his political career - ran a democratically elected authoritarian system. Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa once mockingly described that system as “the perfect dictatorship.”
Mexico's new National Guard was created to fight crime, but now it's in a face-off with migrants
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (Reuters) - A convoy of Mexican state and municipal police trucks roared along the U.S.-Mexico border in Ciudad Juarez to confront cartel gunmen, past National Guardsmen patrolling the banks of the Rio Grande River for migrants trying to cross into the United States.
“We should be with them, not here. We’re soldiers,” one of three guardsmen in a green camouflage uniform grumbled to himself within earshot of a Reuters reporter. He was frustrated that orders kept him from going to back up police in the shootout with gangsters.
The National Guard is a new security force that was created by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to bring down record homicide rates. But now it has been tasked with patrolling the border to placate President Donald Trump, who has demanded Mexico stem the flow of U.S.-bound Central Americans that pass through the country or risk tariffs on Mexican goods.
If the deployment of some 21,000 National Guard troops at Mexico’s northern and southern borders can reduce the flow of migrants, Lopez Obrador will have successfully kept Trump’s tariffs at bay and averted opening up another front in the global trade war.
But using almost a third of the National Guard’s total ranks for migration duties means fewer security forces to tackle one of Mexico’s most pressing issues, spiraling violence, which last year cost a record 33,000 lives. Those numbers continued surging in the first six months of Lopez Obrador’s term in office, which began in December.
U.S. begins returning asylum seekers to one of Mexico’s most dangerous states
NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico — When the United States began sending asylum seekers to wait in Mexico earlier this year as their claims were processed, many regarded the dangerous northeastern state of Tamaulipas as a worst-case scenario.
The State Department warns against all travel to Tamaulipas — the same risk level it has assigned Syria and Afghanistan. Doctors Without Borders reports that 45 percent of its recent patients in this city, among the largest in the state, were migrants who had “suffered at least one episode of violence” while waiting here to cross the U.S. border.
But on Tuesday morning, the United States sent the first 12 migrants back to Tamaulipas under a program known as the Migration Protection Protocols. Mexican authorities dismissed the group from Nuevo Laredo’s immigration office without any transportation or assistance.
“Where do we go?” said José Luis Romero, 31, who had fled Venezuela with his wife and two sons, ages 6 and 8. “We gave away our mattresses.”
The family had waited for three months in Nuevo Laredo before U.S. officials called for them Monday morning and took them across the border to Laredo, Tex. Romero was separated from his wife and children, and immigration officials interviewed the couple separately. The two explained how they had protested Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in the city of Maracaibo and how security forces had later raided their home.