U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s intervention to stop jobs at a plant in Indiana going to Mexico is typical of what happens in countries that Americans call “banana” republics, a senior Mexican state official said on Thursday.
Carrier, a unit of United Technologies Corp
A heating and air-conditioning company, Carrier said in February it would cut some 2,100 jobs in closing two Indiana plants and move production near to the city of Monterrey in Nuevo Leon, a state bordering Texas in northern Mexico.
On the campaign trail, Trump criticized Carrier and other U.S. companies investing in Mexico as unpatriotic and threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican-made goods as part of his pledge to put “America first.”
Trump’s deal with Carrier created an “uncomfortable” situation for the company, and went beyond politicians’ remit, Fernando Turner, economy minister for Nuevo Leon, said in an interview.
“It’s not our job. It’s up to companies to take their own decisions, not politicians; that’s what’s done in Latin American countries that they call banana (republics) in the United States,” he said, laughing.
“It’s not something that was done up until now in the United States. But anyway, things change.”
Trump has threatened to abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada and Mexico if he cannot renegotiate better terms for the U.S., arguing the agreement has hollowed out U.S. manufacturing to Mexico’s benefit.
But Turner said that Mexico had not been a winner from NAFTA. The trade deal had both failed to lift Mexican economic growth and had cost the country millions of jobs, he argued.
Mexican economic growth averaged 2.6 percent in the 22 years since NAFTA took effect in 1994, compared with 2.5 percent for the far wealthier United States, according to World Bank data.
“(Trump) is sending a message to (U.S.) workers, to unions that they don’t need to change, that everything is fine, that Mexico is the problem. But the problem is not Mexico,” Turner added. “They’re barking up the wrong tree.”
Still, Turner said Trump was “intelligent” and his ambition to grow the U.S. economy would benefit Mexico if it came off.
“Trade between Mexico and the United States did not begin with NAFTA,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Christine Murray; Editing by Dave Graham)
California bill to establish nation’s second public bank applauded as ‘historic challenge to Wall Street domination’
"If California is serious about addressing racial and income inequities, we must create a banking system that centers people not profits."
In a move advocacy groups celebrated as a "historic challenge to Wall Street domination of municipal finances," a pair of California state lawmakers on Thursday unveiled legislation that would establish the nation's second publicly-owned bank and empower the institution to lend to businesses and local governments fighting to stay afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
What is China doing to stop Beijing’s new coronavirus outbreak?
Over 1,000 flights have been cancelled, schools shut and residents urged not to leave Beijing, as Chinese authorities race to contain a fresh outbreak linked to the capital's largest wholesale food market.
The number of confirmed cases in the capital has shot up to 137 within the last week after two months of no cases, and four other provinces have revealed cases linked to the Beijing cluster.
How did the outbreak begin, and what measures are Beijing taking to contain it?
- What is the origin of the cluster? -
Beijing had turned into a virtual fortress at the height of the pandemic, with people arriving from other regions or countries required to undergo quarantines.
Democrats and Never-Trumpers gaming out ‘doomsday scenarios’ if president refuses to leave office: report
According to a report in the New York Times, Democratic strategists and Never-Trumper conservatives fear Donald Trump will refuse to leave office should he lose in November and are making plans and figuring out their legal options should such an unprecedented state of affairs come to pass.
The report, by the Times' Reid Epstein, begins with one such possible scenario.