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Entrepreneurs in Mexico and the US Fight to Save NAFTA

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Nov 22, 2016, 3:59 pm
Mexican companies see the future of NAFTA as a challenge, but not the end (Actualidad Motor)
Mexican companies see the future of NAFTA as a challenge, but not the end (Actualidad Motor)

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Mexico’s business leadership is working hard with its counterparts in the United States to boost free trade between the two countries.

“We will not sit still. We are in active contact with business leaders in the United States, and they have been very encouraging,” said Juan Pablo Castañón, president of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE).

Castañón and his colleagues have spent a lot of time promoting and educating Americans about the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “Entrepreneurs and corporations understand the advantages, but the general population does not,” acknowledged the business leader.

On December 7 in Mexico City a group of agencies and business leaders known as USMLICEO will meet to discuss trade policy. USMLICEO was launched three years ago, and hold meetings every six months. The CCE and the US American Chamber of Commerce will participate in this meeting with the expressed aim of focusing on improving competitiveness in the region.

Although the group’s efforts have only been amplified as a result of US elections on November 8, it is something that they have been working on for the past eight months, as Castañón explained.

“None of the candidates spoke out in favor of free trade with Mexico and that had us on high alert for several months,” said the businessman who, in turn, hopes that Republican Donald Trump’s call to end NAFTA was merely campaign rhetoric, although he does acknowledge that there will be changes.

“If you go back and talk to experts regarding Trump’s plans to tax Mexican imports; they say that we could work with a tax of between 1.9% and 2.5%. That would be reasonable. But 35% is too much” said Castañón referring to the tax rate that Trump indicated he would impose.

Regarding the stance of the Mexican government, he indicated that there is coordination with them, but that they are also working on policy from their end. The future environment for NAFTA will be challenging, but not impossible.

Entrepreneurs in both countries have already made use of cooperation channels at both the private and governmental levels, which they will seek to strengthen in the days to come, as there remains much uncertainty about the future of NAFTA.

Source: The Economist

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.

Peru and China Sign New Trade Deals to Boost Cooperation

By: Karina Martín - Nov 22, 2016, 2:28 pm
"I thank the visit of president Xi Jingping to Peru, I expect that the historic relationship that binds our countries brings prosperity" (diariocorreo)

Español Peru and China have signed a series of bilateral agreements to allow for mutual development intended to optimize free trade between the two countries. Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) and China's President Xi Jinping signed bilateral agreements during a meeting about commercial exchange. The Chinese offered to finance a train in South America that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, in turn joining Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. Read more: With Bilateral Agreement, Peru Asks Japan’s Support to Join OECD Read more: Obama Applauds Peru's Poverty Reduction, Bid to Join OECD The meeting came after the Asia-Pacific Cooperation Forum (APEC) was held in Lima, during which a total of 18 agreements were signed. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Among the most important agreements are: a strategic mechanism for dialogue on economic cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru and the National Development and Reform Commission of China; an agreement for the cooperation of industrial zones and for strengthening the mining sector and the optimization of the FTA. The agreements were signed by Peruvian Chancellor Ricardo Luna and the Ministers of Production Bruno Giuffra, Minister of Agriculture Juan Manuel Hernández, Minister of the Environment Elsa Galarza and Minister of Energy and Mines Gonzalo Tamayo — along with all of their Chinese counterparts. "I am grateful for the visit from President Xi Jinping to Peru and I hope that the historic relationship that unites our countries brings prosperity," the Peruvian leader wrote through his official Twitter account at the conclusion of the meeting. The president of China went to Peru's Congress, where he was received by the members of the Board of Directors, chaired by Luz Salgado — as well as by Head of the Foreign Relations Commission Juan Carlos Del Águila — to be decorated with the Medal of Honor. "The future that awaits us is full of positive expectations," he said. "An example of which is the agreement of the Ministry of Foreign Trade to send the first shipment of Peruvian blueberries and prawns to Shanghai in direct flight, which is a milestone in bilateral trade relations of which we should congratulate ourselves." Sources: El Comercio; Gestión; RPP.

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