Posts tagged ‘opinion’

Our Two Pesos: Reflecting on the Opportunity for Stronger North American Competitiveness

While most elected (and wanting-to-be-elected) officials in Washington D.C. and some US States continue to portray illegal immigration as virtually the only topic of interest we potentially share when it comes to talking about Mexico and our border region (we’re thinking of you, Arizona, and California gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner’s Prop 187-style ads), the new 2010 World Competitiveness Yearbook was released today by the Switzerland-based IMD School of Business. The most striking news from this annual study: the US has dropped from the leading to the third-ranking position (behind Singapore and Hong Kong). While not necessarily surprising to many, certainly the news was big enough for BusinessWeek to headline their story: “Asia Gains, U.S. Drops in Competitiveness” (in case you didn’t get the point).

This news comes on the same day that Presidents Obama and Calderon are meeting in Washington D.C., talking about some of the very issues that are critical to increasing North American competitiveness, and growing jobs (and wealth) in our region…[read more]


Continue Reading May 19, 2010 at 7:12 pm Leave a comment

Follow Up to March 15 Post: “Our Two-Pesos: Today’s Travel Warning for Mexico…”

Just a quick update to our Opinion/Analysis from last Monday, about the change in the status of the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory — downgrading (again, in essence) the Mexico Travel Alert to a more ominous Travel Warning. It was our opinion that State Department rules require a Travel Warning to be issued when consular employees or their families are authorized to depart a country, and this was at the heart of the change from Alert to Warning. We cited a section of the Consular Affairs Manual: “[a] Travel Warning must be issued whenever a post goes to authorized or ordered departure status.”

Notably, most media missed this detail, and attributed the change to purely security issues. Well…just to underscore the value of analysis and research…[read more]

Continue Reading March 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm Leave a comment

Our Two Pesos: Is New U.S. State Department Travel Alert on Mexico Fair?

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]

Continue Reading February 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm 4 comments

Our Two-Pesos: Low Prospects for Free Trade Agreements Given High Unemployment

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.

Continue Reading February 2, 2010 at 8:03 am Leave a comment

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