SourceMex focuses on Mexican economic and political issues such as trade and investment, agriculture, elections, the petroleum industry, environment and sustainability, human rights, and social issues. It also places particular emphasis on developments and analysis of U.S.-Mexico relations, including matters related to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Current IssueMexican Auto Industry Faces Mixed Prospects in 2017
The export market for automobiles remains uncertain for assembly operations in Mexico because of US President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on motor vehicles produced in the country. The uncertainty was evident in the decline of 0.7% in Mexico’s total exports of motor vehicles in January relative to a year ago. Industry sources said a slowdown in exports to the US market accounted for much of the downturn. The uncertain environment was also present in Mexico’s domestic market, with the growth in sales of new cars to Mexican consumers increasing only in the single digits. According to the two leading auto industry groups, the Asociación Mexicana de Distribuidores de Automotores (AMDA) and the Asociación Mexicana de la Industria Automotriz (AMIA), domestic sales during January rose by only 3% relative to January 2016. AMDA director Guillermo Rosales said uncertainty about the economy, related in part to concerns about Mexico’s relationship with the Trump administration, contributed in part to the slowdown in sales. The biggest factor in the slower domestic growth, however, was a spike in sales during December, which in turn reduced the inventories available during January, particularly for Nissan and General Motors, Rosales said.Trump’s Attacks on Mexico Benefit Presidential Hopeful López Obrador
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the center-left politician who twice lost presidential elections by narrow margins, might have much better luck in the 2018 presidential contest, thanks in part to the policies of US President Donald Trump. López Obrador, a populist who gained a reputation for speaking his mind against the neoliberal economic model and the corruption of the governing party, started to climb rapidly in the public opinion polls in late January and February of this year. López Obrador, who is president of the party Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena), is increasingly seen as the one person who could stand up to Trump. The US president has angered most Mexicans with his anti-immigrant rhetoric and his statements showing disrespect for Mexico. López Obrador was far ahead in a recent poll conducted by SDP Noticias, but other public opinion surveys show a closer race between the Morena candidate and Margarita Zavala, a former federal deputy and first lady who is a member of the conservative Partido Acción Nacional (PAN). The SDP Noticias poll had López Obrador leading with almost 43% of support; Zavala, who is the wife of former President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), followed with about 19%. Another poll, taken by the respected polling organization Consulta Mitofsky and published in the daily business newspaper El Economista, showed López Obrador with almost 26% of preferences. Zavala followed with about 24% support.