Foreign Policy Blogs

Mexico

A New Manufacturing Investment Calculus

A New Manufacturing Investment Calculus

In my last post I discussed why multinational investment has started to split between China and other destinations, including Mexico, in recent years. But wages are a shrinking fraction of overall production cost—across many manufacturing sectors wages are a tenth to a quarter of overall production costs. Why?
Automation makes wages …

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As China Inc. Sputters, Mexico Gains

As China Inc. Sputters, Mexico Gains

China has been the world’s factory floor for over a decade, but its manufacturing dominance is abating. Sure, a significant amount of investment will continue to enter the Middle Kingdom, if for no other reason than to target its burgeoning middle class, but factory investment that used to automatically go …

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Mexican Trucks: Invited into a Friend’s House

Mexican Trucks: Invited into a Friend’s House

Last Friday the first long-haul Mexican truck entered the United States, fulfilling its express design. Mexican trucks should have been allowed onto U.S. interstates by 2000, but lobbying by the Teamsters union kept Mexican trucks within an earshot of the border. U.S. dithering has been clearly unfair (Canadian trucks have …

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Quietly, Mexico Frustrates Iranian Schemes

Quietly, Mexico Frustrates Iranian Schemes

How is it that Mexico got caught up in an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States? Manssor Arbabsiar had his flight itinerary diverted from Mexico City to New York, where U.S. law enforcement arrested him for plotting the murder of Adel Al-Jubeir in Washington, DC. …

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Wanted: Mexican Workers. Location: North Carolina

Wanted: Mexican Workers. Location: North Carolina

From July 2010 to June 2011 the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina advertised 9,050 jobs openings. Only 752 Americans expressed interest, even though North Carolina’s unemployment rate is above 10 percent.
Short-handed, farmers across the state have resorted to the H-2A visa program, which allows foreigners to work in …

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Mexico Today Social Magazine

Mexico Today Social Magazine

Mexico Today, an outfit I’m proud to write for, just launched a great new interactive magazine for anyone looking to share experiences about Mexico. Right now the Mexico Today Social Magazine on Facebook is dominated by content from leading Mexico bloggers, covering such diverse topics as tortillas, infrastructure projects, and …

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“Neutral” Monetary Policy in an Era of Uncertainty

“Neutral” Monetary Policy in an Era of Uncertainty

On Saturday Agustin Carstens announced a hands-off approach to the Mexican peso: “A neutral monetary policy is the right stance right now.” In normal times such a statement by a central banker rarely qualifies as news, even to the financial news wires. When conducted by an independent central bank monetary …

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A Struttin’ And A Streamin’

A Struttin’ And A Streamin’

Two months ago Netflix announced plans to expand its online streaming service to nearly all of Latin America, possibly tripling the company’s customer base. By 2013 it projects the $7.99 a month service will be a profitable enterprise, largely due to demand in Mexico and Brazil.
And for 100 …

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While Brazil Waffles on FTA Mexican Exports Surge

While Brazil Waffles on FTA Mexican Exports Surge

In November 2010 the presidents of Latin America’s two largest economies pledged to hash out a free trade agreement. Per logic, Mexico has a consumer class of 100-plus million, Brazil twice that: each country stands to benefit. Yet free trade by numbers went out of vogue in the 1990s. Still, …

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Beating the Cartels: Mexico’s Boomerang Operations

Beating the Cartels: Mexico’s Boomerang Operations

Mexican commandos are organizing raids against drug cartels from U.S. territory, according to Obama administration officials. These so-called boomerang operations allow the Mexicans to plan operations with the DEA, and may allow the Mexicans access to advanced U.S. equipment. Crucially, the operations also skirt venal state and local police in …

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Mexico, the un-Brazil

Mexico, the un-Brazil

Author’s Note: Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley, recently penned a piece in TIME asserting that Brazil is “the un-China.” That comparison inspired this post. Mexico Today, a public-private enterprise of which I am a paid contributor, provided some data.
Mexico’s technocrats have been seething at comparisons …

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Peppers on Ice: LatAm Central Banks Adjust to US Slowdown

Peppers on Ice: LatAm Central Banks Adjust to US Slowdown

Scarcely a month ago, market analysts were calling for Latin America’s central banks to hike interest rates. But on the heels of weak US quarterly GDP numbers and signs that the EU debt crisis may envelop Spain and Italy, market analysts are now forecasting lending rate cuts for Latin America’s …

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Latin America’s Markets Tumble, Mexico’s Less Than Others

Latin America’s Markets Tumble, Mexico’s Less Than Others

Yesterday’s 5.6 percent drop in the Dow reverberated through Latin America’s major stock exchanges. Argentina’s stock market took the worst hit, losing almost 11 percent of its value. Brazil’s Bovespa declined more than 8 percent; Chile and Peru’s markets each lost 7 percent.
Mexico’s stock market, the Bolsa, withstood the …

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The Juarez Economy is Booming

The Juarez Economy is Booming

NPR’s “Morning Edition” features an upbeat report by Jason Beaubien on Cuidad Juarez. Yes, Juarez: the border city in full grip of Mexico’s drug war. But the economy is thriving, adding jobs and exporting more goods to the United States than ever before.
Car part factories are a big part …

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Overheating Economies: Cause for Alarm in the Southern Cone

Overheating Economies: Cause for Alarm in the Southern Cone

I can’t let go of an article from the July 2 edition of the Economist. “Who’s Overheating” proposes an “emerging-markets overheating index” that crunched six factors:
1) Inflation
2) GDP growth since 2007, compared to the past decade
3) Unemployment
4) Credit growth
5) Real interest rates, and
6) Change in current-account balance.
Twenty-seven …

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