Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

Hugh Thomas, R.I.P.

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

British historian Hugh Thomas died May 6th, aged 85.

The best of Thomas

Larry Summers on NAFTA

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Harvard University economist Larry Summers (born 1954) writes that the greatest gift the United States could give China is exit from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

I was in Mexico Thursday seeing the Mexican president, foreign minister and finance minister and addressing a convention of bankers. The only subjects anyone is interested is the future of NAFTA and U.S. Mexican relations.

I came to Mexico from Beijing, and so I was able to report that there was no greater strategic gift the United States could give China than to abrogate NAFTA and rupture the North American community.

In narrow commercial terms right now, Mexican goods enter the United States on a preferred basis relative to Asian goods. This preference would disappear with NAFTA suspension. Furthermore about 70 percent of Mexican exports are of goods that are not finished but are inputs to further U.S. production. Anything that hurts Mexico therefore hurts us in global economic competition with China. ….

Larry Summers, “Why scrapping NAFTA would be Trump

Carrier Corporation takes Trump for a ride

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Donald Trump is taking credit for preventing nearly a thousand manufacturing jobs from moving from Indiana, where Carrier Corporation pays workers between $15 and $26 an hour, to Mexico, where it pays them about $2 or $3 an hour. But how was he able to get this great deal? Was it with sticks, or with carrots – with new taxes or with tax breaks and regulatory favours? At this juncture, it appears to be all about tax breaks and regulatory favours, without punitive taxes.

Here are details from a newspaper article in The Guardian, followed by by Bernie Sanders’ blog in the Washington Post. More information is available at each ungated link. (more…)

Trump’s pick for commerce secretary is a mercantilist!

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Donald Trump is expected soon to confirm Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary. Mr Ross (born 1937) is a billionaire investor who specializes in leveraged buyouts and restructuring distressed businesses. I learned, reading this weekend’s Financial Times, that he is also a vocal proponent of mercantilism.

The starting point of any trade deal, Mr Ross told the FT this month, should be to ensure that each side share its estimates of the effects on its own industries and jobs. ….

It is time to focus on deals which make sense, he says. That does not include the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994, for example, which appeared to flip America

genocide in California?

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

University of Virginia historian Alan Taylor reminds us of the cruelty and suffering native peoples endured at the hands of European ‘immigrants’. The Spanish were famously cruel, but California natives suffered even more after 1846, when the United States annexed vast tracts of Mexican land, justified by the doctrine of ‘Manifest Destiny’. (more…)

Central American refugees

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

The plight of Syrian refugees in Europe, though serious, has blinded us to the plight of refugees from Central America, who are reaching the US border from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras at the rate of more than one thousand a day.

Cuban dissidents, Arizona and Hamilton!

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

This is my recommended podcast of the week. The one-hour show begins with an interview of the Cuban journalist Miriam Leiva, widow of economist Oscar Espinosa (1940-2013). If you don’t listen to anything else, don’t miss this part. The next segment is a follow-up of an FT column on Arizona’s increasingly warm welcome of visitors from Mexico. The third and final segment is a review of the Broadway musical “Hamilton!”.

FT blogs and podcasts are not metered – downloads do not count against limits imposed on those without subscriptions to FT — but free registration is required.

Here is a guide to each segment of this week’s Alphachat.

[4:02] The story of a dissident Cuban economist

Taped in Havana, Cuba, I spoke with the Cuban journalist and dissident Miriam Leiva about the life of her late husband, Oscar Espinosa Chepe. He was an economist with an irrepressible instinct to tell the truth to a regime that didn

Arizona welcomes Mexicans

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

Arizona, a solidly ‘red’ (Republican) American state, is enacting policies to attract more Mexican visitors. This contrasts sharply with the promise of presidential candidate Donald Trump to build a high, sturdy wall along the US-Mexico border.

Arizonan movers and shakers have started to think that bringing in more Mexicans is a good way to stimulate growth. To make people from south of the border feel more welcome, county planning organisations, municipal officials and business leaders are lining up behind a proposal to transform their entire state into a

painting the slums of Mexico

Friday, August 28th, 2015

A remarkable experiment is taking place near Mexico City, with the help of federal government funding. Local residents and artists have transformed Las Palmitas, a barrio in crime-ridden Pachuca, into a mega-mural of bright colours.

[T]he community-building efforts sparked by the mural project … have helped foster a new sense of civic pride and peaceful cohabitation. The Germen Crew [in charge of the work] spent months getting to know residents before the painting began, attending town meetings to discuss colours and workshops for children. ….

In Las Palmitas, officials say the programme, of which the mega-mural is part, led to a 79 per cent drop in the crime rate in the first half of this year, compared with levels in 2012. They see such grassroots campaigns as vital in a country struggling with rampant drug cartel-related violence and crime, Indeed, Mexico has thousands of barrios just as depressing and in need of rehabilitation. ….

[There is now] a queue of demands from cities to get the Palmitas treatment, including crime-torn Acapulco, Ciudad Ju

institutional and economic reforms in Brazil and Mexico

Friday, August 21st, 2015

FT columnist John Paul Rathbone uses Brazil and Mexico as case studies to argue that economic reforms cannot bear fruit in a climate of corruption, insecurity and lawlessness.

While Mexico is far ahead of Brazil in the World Bank