(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. A key deadline is set to lapse Monday that could lead to permanent U.S. tariffs on Mexican tomato imports, with costs potentially hitting American consumers when the weather turns cold later this year.As of last week, the two sides had failed to reach an agreement to end an anti-dumping investigation over Mexican tomato imports and lift a 17.6% provisional tariff, which went into effect in May. The outcome of the investigation may now make the tariffs permanent, potentially hitting the Mexican agriculture industry as well as American supermarkets and restaurants.But some U.S. produce farmers, backed by Florida Republican lawmakers Senator Marco Rubio and Rep. Ted Yoho, have said they favor letting the investigation and the tariffs go forward. They say Mexico, the world’s largest tomato exporter, has been unfairly undercutting American farmers on price, hurting agriculture in Florida, among other places. Mexico denies that its farmers are dumping.“I don’t think a suspension agreement is going to cure the problem,” Rep. Yoho said in a telephone interview Friday. He said the U.S. should protect local agriculture jobs, even if it means consumers pay a bit more for their produce.Uneasy DetenteMexican growers ship more than $2 billion in tomatoes to the U.S. annually, rivaling avocados as the nation’s biggest farm export, and the industry directly supports more than 1 million jobs.Since 1996, the tomato industry has operated under an uneasy detente. At the time, an agreement was reached to end an anti-dumping probe, provided Mexican producers adhered to certain conditions, including a minimum price. That deal has been renewed several times over the past two decades, but the Trump administration broke precedent and left the deal earlier this year.Mexico’s Undersecretary of Foreign Relations Jesus Seade said earlier this month that the sides were close to a new deal, but were stuck on a U.S. demand that 100% of Mexican tomatoes be reviewed at the border. Seade said that condition was logistically impossible.The provisional tariffs would become permanent if the U.S. Commerce Department determines by Sept. 19 that Mexico engaged in dumping and, subsequently, the International Trade Commission determines that the behavior caused injury to American producers.If the U.S. producers lose their case, the Mexican industry will be able to get back tariff money deposited in the interim.The sides need to reach a new accord by Monday to allow for 30 days of public comment before the Commerce Department concludes its investigation.Price SpikeA study released earlier this year by Arizona State University economists -- and commissioned by a trade association representing importers of Mexican tomatoes -- showed how the prices of most varieties of tomatoes would spike if Mexican imports fell by half. But the magnitude of the increase will depend on many variables, including growing-season conditions. Supply is generally much tighter in the North American winter months, when many producers drop out of the market.The analysis said that a collapse of Mexican trade coupled with, for example, a January cold snap or a bout of disease in Florida, could make prices of many varieties double.To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Levin in Miami at email@example.com;Eric Martin in Mexico City at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at email@example.com, Flynn McRoberts, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Mexico is sending some of the 30,000 Central American migrants vying for asylum in the United States on 750-mile bus rides — all the way back to southern Mexico, officials said. The “Remain in Mexico” program pushed by the Trump administration has forced thousands of asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait months to get their turn before a US immigration judge. But the northern state of Tamaulipas, just across the Rio Grande from Texas, is one of Mexico's most dangerous zones — and has little housing or services for the newcomers. The busing program, which is ferrying the migrants to the state of Chiapas just north of Guatemala, will “provide a safer alternative for those who do not want to remain
Insect cuisine is growing in popularity. Ancient traditions are mixed with modern flavours to make the environmentally-friendly menus more appetising to new consumers. The end results are dishes like ant larvae grilled in garlic and cilantro sauce or fried stink bugs served with a side of guacamole. Around the world, the edible insect industry is projected to be worth $1.2bn by 2023. Al Jazeera's Manuel Rapalo reports from Mexico City.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has a dream for the Yucatan Peninsula. He wants to build a train that will leverage the tourism economy of Cancun by bringing more visitors inland to the colonial cities, Mayan villages and archaeological sites that dot the region.The Yucatan is a unique Mexican cultural crossroads. Many Maya here continue to farm, live and dress according to indigenous traditions developed millennia before the Spanish colonized the Americas. Travelers also come from across the globe to sunbathe along the modern, highly developed Riviera Maya. Over 16 million foreigners visited the area in 2017; three-quarters of them were American.The Mexican government thinks that a tourist train could turn Maya villages into destinations, too, bringing an infusion of cash and jobs into one of its poorest and most marginalized regions. Commuters would also benefit from rail travel.But there are social and environmental consequences to laying 932 miles of railway tracks across a region of dense jungle, pristine beaches and Maya villages. And in his haste to start construction this year, López Obrador – whose energy policy is focused on increasing fossil fuel production in Mexico and rebuilding the coal industry – has demonstrated little concern for conservation. Pristine forests and Mayan ruins at risk As a landscape architecture scholar who has studied Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, I agree that the Maya Train could bring substantial benefits to this region. But the train must be designed in a way that respects the delicate ecology, indigenous history and social fabric of the region.The Yucatan, a biodiverse peninsula that’s geographically isolated from the rest of Mexico and Central America, has already suffered mass deforestation due to careless urban development, massive tourism and, in particular, unsustainable cattle ranching.For stretches, the Maya Train will run on existing tracks. But other parts of its planned route will cut through some of the only unspoiled ancient forests on the Yucatan Peninsula that are not federally protected as nature reserves. That bodes badly for endangered native species like the kanzacam cactus and black howler monkey.Running a train through virgin forest also puts potentially hundreds of undiscovered ruins at risk. New technology has lead archaeologists to believe that the ancient Maya had many more cities, shrines and settlements than have been uncovered and excavated.There is concern, too, that the construction of a new train line may exacerbate a demographic shift already underway in the Yucatan.As young Mexicans have left the small towns of the Yucatan to seek tourism jobs, many traditional Maya villages face abandonment. In 2015, 36% of Yucatec residents lived in traditional towns of fewer than 5,000 people – about 10% fewer than in 1990.A Maya Train with limited stations may spur development of a select few traditional towns. But many more – all those not located within the new rural tourism corridor – will likely see their population dwindle. Building a better Maya TrainI don’t believe López Obrador’s ambitious signature infrastructure project should be killed. But the rushed construction schedule could be slowed down, giving the government time to study how the environmental and social costs of the Maya Train can be mitigated.Analysts have almost universally pointed out that the government’s six-year timeline necessarily precludes a deliberate, comprehensive and careful planning and construction process.Landscape ecology, the study of natural systems, teaches us that simply maintaining green corridors connecting patches of unbroken wilderness can go a long way to protect wildlife, their habitat and the natural drainage patterns of the area.The railway’s path could probably be redesigned to avoid severing these ecological arteries, but a sound environmental impact assessment must first be conducted to determine the impact and feasibility of alternative routes. That has not yet been done.The possible negative social consequences of the Maya Train could also be avoided, or at least compensated for, if the communities impacted by the railway could participate fully in the planning process.López Obrador says that Mother Earth granted permission to build the train, but Mexico’s Maya Train was approved at a hastily called popular referendum last year with only 1% voter participation. Some indigenous activists have rejected the outcome of the vote, which polled Mexicans nationwide about a project that affects mainly Maya villagers. “We don’t accept it,” a representative of the Zapatistas, a southern Mexican indigenous insurgency, said of the train on July 23. “We won’t allow [the government] to come in and destroy” the land.Other Yucatan residents appear to support the idea of a tourist train but want to be consulted closely about its route, stops and offerings, asked about their concerns and given the chance to make design proposals.This kind of participatory planning process would ensure that Yucatec residents are the beneficiaries, not the victims, of the anticipated economic boom.Done right, the Maya Train could actually trigger an economic conversion with sweeping environmental benefits for the Yucatan. If new ecotourism and agrotourism businesses grow up around the train, some rural residents will naturally move toward those trades and away from the high-impact, low-efficiency ranching that has so damaged the local ecology.Slow DownBig public works like the Maya Train take patience, careful planning, thinking and rethinking.These are not the hallmarks of López Obrador’s leadership style. The Mexican president insists the $6 billion train will be completed before the end of his term in 2024 and has mocked journalists who question the train’s environmental impact.But the public backlash appears to have forced his government to do some quick course correction.United Nations-Habitat, the U.N.‘s urban development agency, began consulting with the Mexico government in May. U.N.-Habitat’s interim director, Eduardo López Moreno, has called for a more holistic vision of the Maya Train.“This is not 1,525 kilometers of track,” he said after joining the project. “It’s 1,525 kilometers of opportunities that will improve the quality of life for all inhabitants of southeast Mexico.”This story first appeared in The Conversation on August 13.Image: Reuters
MEXICO CITY,�Mexico�(AFP) — President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday that Mexico does not want the El Paso shooter who killed 22 people -- targeting Mexicans -- to be executed, and will seek to extradite him from the United States. The confessed shooter in the mass killing in the Texas border city, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, faces the death penalty in the US. Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist, said that while Mexico condemns Crusius's "reprehensible, abominable" crimes, it does not want to see him put to death. "Our constitution does not allow the death penalty. We do not want the death penalty, as a matter of conviction. Life imprisonment does not exist (in Mexico), either,"
The rate of growth in the Mexican economy dropped in 2017 compared to 2016, and the Mexican Central Bank is lowering growth projections for 2018 and 2019.
"The United States wins when Mexico is prosperous and stable, and Mexico wins when the United States is prosperous and stable. Landau, 55, has no diplomatic experience, but studied Latin America at Harvard and knows the region first-hand.
A US appeals court has dealt a setback to the Trump administration’s plan to block asylum applications at the US-Mexico border by ruling against the policy in nine states.The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policy could not be applied in the nine states that make up the circuit, which includes two states (California and Arizona) that are on the border with Mexico.There was a partial win for the Trump administration as the court stopped short of applying its ruling nationwide and left open the possibility of the ban being applied in the other states which border Mexico - Texas and New Mexico.Mr Trump’s policy would require most asylum-seekers to first seek safe haven in a third country, such as Mexico or Guatemala, before coming to the US.The court ruling came on the same day that California and other states, as well as a coalition of advocacy groups, filed lawsuits to stop a separate plan to reduce legal immigration by denying visas to poor migrants.The lawsuits are challenging a rule that would deny or revoke visas for legal immigrants who might become a “public charge” due to failing to make enough money or receiving public assistance, such as welfare, food stamps or public housing.Mr Trump has made reducing immigration, particularly by Central American migrants along the US-Mexico border, a central issue of his presidency.On 24 July, US District Judge Jon Tigar issued a preliminary injunction in San Francisco to prevent the asylum applications proposal taking effect.The government appealed the decision but a three-judge panel ruled on Friday that the Trump administration had failed to comply with portions of the law that govern rule-making."The court properly refused to let the new asylum ban go into effect, though currently limited to the 9th Circuit. We will continue fighting to end the ban entirely," Lee Gelernt, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement responding to the ruling.The White House said it “strongly” disagreed with the decision and hoped the injunction would be lifted on appeal."While the injunction remains overbroad - even as modified by the 9th Circuit's decision - we will now be able to apply the rule at issue to curb asylum abuse outside of the 9th Circuit," Stephanie Grisham, White House press secretary, said in a statement.It is thought that the ruling could encourage more asylum-seekers to attempt to cross the border at California and Arizona rather than Texas and New Mexico.The Trump administration has claimed it needs to curtail asylum cases because the vast majority are found to be without merit.However, opponents have warned it is unrealistic to expect people fleeing persecution to seek asylum in countries such as Mexico or Guatemala, which are ill-equipped to deal with large numbers of migrants.Agencies contributed to this report
Walmart released impressive Q2 results yesterday. Its performance was driven primarily by its growth engines, the US and Walmex (mainly Mexico) regions.
Mexico said Friday it arrested a US citizen suspected of backing jihadist groups who was being housed at a migrant detention center and deported him to the United States. The Mexican prosecutor general's office said the man was the target of an Interpol "blue notice," issued because the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) suspects him of "publishing support for violent jihad and radical Islam" online. Interpol blue notices are issued "to collect additional information about a person's identity, location or activities in relation to a crime," according to the international police organization.
In El Paso, we call it the Rio Grande; our neighbors in Juárez know it as Río Bravo. It’s supposed to be a national border, but the river had its own ideas.
The Mexican government said Friday it is busing migrants who have applied for asylum in the United States to the southern Mexico state of Chiapas. About 30,000 migrants have been sent back to northern Mexican border cities to await U.S. asylum hearings under a policy known as "Remain in Mexico" under which they have to wait for hearings months away.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities say federal police found 65 severely dehydrated and hungry migrants from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka wandering on a highway in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. The federal Public Safety Department said Thursday that the migrants recounted a long, complicated trip in a bid to reach the U.S. border. The migrants reported they set out April 24 from an airport in Qatar and flew to Turkey and Colombia. From there, they moved through Ecuador, Panama and Guatemala before reaching Mexico. Once in Mexico, the migrants said, they boarded boats and travelled on the Coatzacoalcos River, though it is not clear why. The river does not lead anywhere near the U.S. border.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday that Mexico does not want the El Paso shooter who killed 22 people, including eight Mexicans, to be executed, and may seek to extradite him from the United States. The confessed shooter in the mass killing in the Texas border city, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, potentially faces the death penalty in the US. Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist, said that while Mexico condemns Crusius's "reprehensible, abominable" crimes, it does not want to see him put to death.