Archive for February, 2010
The U.S. State Department has issued an updated Travel Alert for Mexico that is already creating debate amongst city leaders and tourism officials in Mexico. So the question once again comes up: is the most recent State Department Travel Alert on Mexico fair, or justified, given the security conditions in Mexico?
Frankly, it’s a difficult question to answer — because few of us have access to the kind of information that Embassy and Consular staff in Mexico likely have, nor do we necessarily know the specifics of any of the cases that are filed by U.S. citizens (or dual-nationals). What most of us hear is from media sources (in the U.S. or in Mexico), or — in some cases — based on research or data provided by local, State or Federal sources in Mexico.
What all of us can look at are a few publicly-available facts…[read more]
New data released in mid-February shows Mexico’s IMMEX (“maquiladora”) industry employment was on the increase, adding an average of just over 14,000 jobs each month since July 2009. The IMMEX industry (the new, regulatory term for what is widely considered the “maquiladora industry”, covering both former “maquiladora” operations and “PITEX” companies) has been hard hit by the U.S. economic downturn, losing nearly 365,000 jobs in this sector from a near peak in November 2007 to its low-point of 1.58 million employees in July, 2009. Some key findings are presented in our downloadable Crossborder Insights brief…[read more]
Our Two Pesos: $50.2 Million in USDOT TIGER Grants for Border Crossing Infrastructure….Thanks. Gracias. Más?
Today, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $1.5 billion in funds for the Department’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grants — targeting 51 “high-priority, innovative transportation projects” around the United States. These are projects that were funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and competed against nearly 1,400 total transportation-related project submissions.
Of the 51 projects that were announced today as receiving FY2009 funds, two specifically are for improving border crossing infrastructure: $30 million toward a $79 million project to replace the Black River Bridge (connecting Port Huron, Michigan, with Canada); and $20.2 million toward the nearly $450 million project to construct the new SR-905 freeway connecting San Diego (and Otay Mesa) with Tijuana, Baja California….[read more]
On February 12, 2010, President Felipe Calderón of Mexico met with Prince Andrew of the United Kingdom to both reiterate Mexico’s interest in stronger trade and investment relationships with the UK, as well as to restate an ongoing Mexican goal of reducing their “dependence” on the United States as an export market.
In Mexico, the trade relationship with the U.S. is, by many, considered a mixed blessing: while NAFTA and the increasing integration with the U.S. economy has attracted significant foreign investment, created stronger commercial relations (and job growth), and has likely helped infrastructure modernization – it has come at the cost of Mexico being highly dependent on U.S.’ economic health. In 2008, President Calderón himself repeated the old phrase: “When the US catches a cold, Mexico gets pneumonia.”
The benefit and weakness of this relationship can be seen in Mexico’s trade data – the most recent of which covers January-November of 2009. CrossborderBusiness.com has analyzed this data, and provides a few brief observations about Mexico’s export trends in our new Crossborder Insights briefing…
According some sources citing the NFL, there are over 16 million American football fans in Mexico — a number that may be growing given the growing influence of the US Hispanic market (largely made up of individuals with Mexican heritage) on Mexican consumers (and vice-versa). And where are those fans? Well, at least using Google Trends data from the last 30-days, a sudden rise in online searches for “super bowl” was tracked in the cities of…
It’s a hard, practical reality that the American public — not necessarily just the Administration — will likely find it hard to swallow public efforts to promote FTAs (viewed mainly as a potential “job loser”), until unemployment hits somewhere in the 6-8% range.