How could NAFTA 2.0 Impact China?

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This week, President Trump announced what he called a “handshake deal” with Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto (and with the acquiescence of President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who wanted the deal done before he comes into office on December 1st) on NAFTA 2.0.

The US president claims that, what he calls the "United States-Mexico Trade Agreement” (and not NAFTA 2.0), “will be a big hit” for the US. Free traders disagree, seeing its new regulations as sand in the trade gears. But the revamped North America Free Trade Agreement — that Canada may sign on to as soon as Friday — is really "a great deal for Mexico.” The US government is trying to use this deal to stick it to China, and Mexico is hoping to collect the windfall.

The biggest single deal in the agreement is that 40-45% of autos must be made by companies whose workers earn at least $16/hour, and that 75% of autos must be made in North America. As China-watcher Chris Balding points out

This limits the scope for assembly in Mexico with Chinese components, favoring higher-value parts from manufacturers covered by the agreement… The origin requirement is clearly aimed at countries that either trans-ship or use Mexico as an assembly center.

Mexico will likely benefit by moving up the value-added chain in the automotive sector. This will benefit the burgeoning auto hubs in Puebla and the Bajío.

Former US Treasury spokesman Tony Fratto notes that the US government’s "intention to muscle the North American automakers to focus on a now stagnant — and possibly shrinking — US market is myopic in the extreme.” While US vehicle sales have been steady at 17m for the past 20 year, vehicle sales in China have doubled in the past decade to 30m a year, and will continue to grow. By focusing on North American production and content, NAFTA 2.0 will make US automakers less competitive on the global market.

The intellectual property and digital services clauses are also aimed at long-standing concerns that the US has with China, on copyright, pirating, and the "disclosure of proprietary computer source code and algorithms” to host country governments. While these won’t really change the US-Mexico agricultural relationship, the US will use them in other bilateral agreements its pursuing.

And if it wasn’t apparent that NAFTA 2.0 was aimed squarely at China, the deal prohibits “shark-finning” — a practice used to make China’s traditional shark fin soup — by name.

The Trump administration’s willingness to do trade deals as a "strategic commitment ... in the face of a rising China” makes the decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership — that contains most of the same provisions and include Mexico and Canada as two of its largest members — all the more bizarre in hindsight. While the current US government has indicated it will never admit it is wrong, should we hope this is a sign that the TPP will be reconsidered?

Top Stories

Política exterior peruana prioriza asociación estratégica integral con China— Xinhua

Perú aspira a modernizar su TLC con China tras ocho años— Agencia Andina 

Canciller Popolizio inicia hoy visita a China— El Peruano

El canciller peruano inicia visita a China, primer socio comercial de Perú— TVN

China y Perú se unen contra el proteccionismo y mejorarán su TLC— Gestión

El canciller peruano inicia su agenda en China con el vicepresidente Wang Qishan— EFE

Canciller peruano califica de exitoso tratado de libre comercio China-Perú y rechaza el proteccionismo— Xinhua

China y Perú actualizarán su TLC— América Economía

Peruvian Foreign Minister Néstor Popolizio travelled to Beijing this week to meet with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice President Wang Qishan. Both sides have agreed to move forward on updating their free trade agreement to an "FTA 2.0."

Mexico government seeking companies for Alibaba e-commerce deal— Channel News Asia

Por qué Amazon no se ha expandido en América Latina— Ecuavisa

Él, que sabe todo sobre Alibaba, te pide voltear a China— El Financiero

More about the follow-up on Alibaba’s 2017 MOU with Mexico. While there was a lot of optimism about the opportunity, now looks like not much has come of it, and both sides are looking for reasons why.

POSCO buys lithium mining rights in Argentina from Australia's Galaxy— Reuters

Following on March’s Chile value-added deal, Korea’s POSCO continues to look at lithium in Latin America, buying lithium mining rights in Argentina from Australia’s Galaxy Resources for $280m. POSCO also says that it will build a lithium plant in Argentina to produce 25,000 tonnes a year starting in 2021.

Empresa china firma acuerdo con Acepar— ABC Color 

Grupo chino que arrendará Acepar no exhibe el contrato— ABC Color 

Henan Complant Mechanical & Electrical Equipment Group Co Ltd (HCME) has agreed to lease the Aceros del Paraguay (Acepar) steel mill for 20 years for $116m, replacing Brazil’s Vetorial, which left last year. However details have not been released on the lease.

Cepal baja pronóstico de crecimiento de América Latina en 2018 de 2,2% a 1,5%— América Economía

Moody's reduz previsão para PIB do Brasil e vê risco em guerra EUA-China— Folha

Empresa china Cofco Meat importa cerdo desde Chile y Europa— El Economista América

Empresa china importa carne de cerdo de Chile y UE como alternativa por guerra comercial con EE.UU.— Diario Estrategia 

Contra la guerra económica: América Latina y el Caribe se unen a la nueva plataforma comercial creada por China— El Ciudadano

Retaliação dos EUA à China pode afetar exportações do Brasil, diz AEB— Agência Brasil

EEUU discute su pleito comercial con China y el TLCAN México— France 24

EU discute TLCAN con México y tiene pleito comercial con China— El Heraldo de México

Opinión: EU no quiere a china en Latinoamérica y esta es la razón— Expansión 

En guerra de aranceles entre China y EE.UU, nadie gana— Vanguardia

Aranceles de Donald Trump a China impulsarían ventas de pota peruana a EE.UU.— Gestión América Latina pierde soberanía ante la invasión de China— La Estrella de Panamá  

Um mundo multipolar— Estadão

Corea del sur, Brasil y Argentina consiguen un respiro de los aranceles de Trump— Bolsamania

The trade war continues. Thanks to global trade uncertainty, Latin America is expected to grow more slowly this year - from 2.2% to 1.5%. COFCO looks to Chile to replace US pork. At least Korea, Brazil, and Argentina have received exemption from the US’ aluminum and steel tariffs.

Heide Fulton advierte a Honduras sobre consecuencias de establecer relaciones con China— Diario El Heraldo

EEUU advierte a Honduras de "decepción" que implica ampliar lazos con China— Listín Diario

EEUU critica influencia de China en Centroamérica— La Prensa

EEUU revaluará sus lazos con El Salvador tras alianza con China— La Prensa

America fears China will be military rival on its doorstep— The Times

Estados Unidos está preocupado por cercanía de China con El Salvador— Mercado Militar

The US disapproves of El Salvador recognizing Beijing, and warns Honduras not to try anything similar.

Obstacles to Japanese Investment in Latin America— Wilson Center

Our friends at the Wilson Center’s Latin America Program are holding an event next Friday. If you’re in DC, see you there!

China — LAC

¿Que los chinos se tomaron América Latina?— El Espectador

Carlos Alberto Montaner: China comunista a la conquista de América Latina— El Libero

Nueva Ruta de la Seda, ¿beneficio o problema para Latinoamérica?— Portafolio

Las empresas chinas salieron de compra por América Latina— La Nación

Chin-stroking on whether China is taking over Latin America.

Argentina vuelve a exportar aceite de soja a China luego de 3 años— Clarín

Después de tres años, la Argentina vuelve a exportar aceite de soja a China— Infobae

Argentina begins its shipments of soybean oil to China.

Maggi diz que Brasil pode recorrer à OMC contra sobretaxas chinesas— Agência Brasil

Maggi defende questionamento na OMC de barreiras da China ao frango e açúcar— Istoé

Blairo diz que Brasil pode recorrer a OMC contra sobretaxas da China— Valor

Brazilian Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi says that the country is considering referring China’s chicken anti-dumping measures to the World Trade Organization.

Chile y Argentina homologan visas a turistas chinos desde enero de 2019— Xinhua

Argentina y Chile firmaron un acuerdo de emisión de visas para turistas chinos— Infobae

Beginning next year, Argentina and Chile will recognize each other’s visas for tourists from China.

China fortalecerá con Venezuela asociación de América Latina y el Caribe— Aporrea 

Venezuela y China blindan relaciones bilaterales— Vice Presidencia de Venezuela

Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Qin Gang met with Venezuelan Assistant Foreign Minster for Asia Rubén Darío Molina.

Mercado chino abraza prendas peruanas de alpaca y espera más productos de lujo— Xinhua

A profile of the "Alpaca del Perú” store that opened in Beijing last year.

Embajador chino presenta sus credenciales al Presidente— El Caribe

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Run has officially arrived in the Dominican Republic.

Exportación Alimentos a la República Popular China— Cofepris Arn/Youtube

México envió más aguacates a China en seis meses que durante todo el año pasado— Portal Fruticola

Asia, opción para diversificar el comercio agroalimentario mexicano: CEDRSSA— Mi Punto de Vista

Mexico sent more avocados to China in the first six months of 2018 than in all of 2017.

Exportación de vino chileno crece hacia China y Brasil en el primer semestre— Xinhua

China y EUA son los principales compradores de vino chileno— 20 Minutos

China continues to drive Chilean wine exports, up 20% over the past year.

Cerezas argentinas se abren camino hacia el mercado chino— Macro Trade News

Argentina: China to send inspectors to cherry farms and packing facilities— Fresh Plaza

Las cerezas argentinas, en las puertas de un histórico acuerdo con China— Agrofy 

Chinese inspectors headed to Argentina to approve cherries for export.

Honor se reinventa y llega a Colombia con su línea gama media— El Tiempo

Huawei y ZTE, los dragones telecom de China que planean sobre América Latina— El Economista

Tecnologia. Opinião. Inteligência— ZTOP

La compañía china Xiaomi abre su primera tienda en Colombia— La República

Huawei, ZTE, and Xiaomi are al looking to expand in Latin America.

Honduras exportaría 10 contenedores de carne de pollo semanales a EE UU— La Tribuna

Honduras sells 10 containers of chicken to the US every week. It wants to sell as many to China.

Uruguay y la Franja y la Ruta— El Observador

Chinese Ambassador Wang Gang extols the benefits of Uruguay’s joining the BRI.

WTC Curitiba reúne EBANX e empresários chineses para debater sobre negócios— Diário Indústria

The Curitiba branch of the World Trade Center Business Club held an event with its Harbin partners.

América Latina demanda proyectos de infraestructura que puede solicitar en marco de la Franja y la Ruta: experto— Xinhua

UNAM’s Enrique Dussel Peters says Latin America wants BRI-eligible infrastructure projects.

La estrategia argentina de desarrollo parael siglo XXI— Clarín

Algunos aspectos de una agenda positiva— MDZ Online

Argentina’s strategy for growth needs to take China into account.

Folha realiza primeira edição do seminário Brasil-China; confira a programação— Folha

Next week, Folha de São Paulo is hosting its first Brazil-China Seminar - go check it out.

Conectividad ferroviaria argentina logra mejorar tras cuatro años de cooperación de China— Mundo Maritimo

Belt and Road Initiative key to revamping Argentina's cargo rail— Global Times 

Tren fabricado en China entrará en operación en Argentina— People’s Daily

The CRRC freight trains for the Belgrano line in Argentina have arrived, and will be a key part of Argentina’s eventual participation in the BRI.

China coopera con desarrollo de energías limpias en altiplano de Argentina— Xinhua

Powerchina and Shanghai Electric Power Construction Co. Ltd (SEPC) are moving forward on construction of the Cauchari solar farm.

La demanda de China impulsó la exportación de carne argentina— La Nación

Chinese demand is driving Argentine beef exports.

China y Tamaulipas analizan oportunidades de inversión e intercambio educativo— El Economista 

Presenta Gobernador ventajas para invertir en Tamaulipas a empresarios de China— MVS Noticias

Tamaulipas Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca hosted Chinese Ambassador to Mexico Qiu Xiaoqi.

Korea — LAC

Me gustaría concretar un TLC con México: Kim Sang-il— El Economista

Korean Ambassador Kim Sang-il says he wants a free trade agreement with Mexico.

México revisa contrato siderúrgico con Corea del Sur— Minería en Línea

Steelmakers Ternium México and Altos Hornos de México (Ahmsa) have asked the Secretariat of Economy to tighten quotas on steel imports from POSCO and Hyundai Husco.

Perú y Corea ejecutarán proyecto de Ciudad Inteligente para Piura— Agencia Andina

Piura wants help from Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) to become a smart city.

Japan — LAC

Argentina supera controles de calidad y vuelve a exportar limones a Japón— Contacto Hoy

Los limones argentinos vuelven a exportarse al exigente mercado de Japón— iProfesional

Argentine lemons are sailing back to Japan, with the first ones arriving in Yokohama this month.

India — LAC

India initiates antidumping probe on certain type of steel from Brazil, China, Germany— The Economic Times

The investigation arm of India’s Commerce Ministry — the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) — is looking into whether Brazilian and Chinese firms are dumping “high speed steel of non-cobalt grade” onto the market.

ASEAN & Oceania — LAC

SQM tips lithium prices to fall on surging Australian exports— Australian Financial Review

Chile’s SQM points to surging lithium exports from Australia as likely to drive prices lower for the rest of the year.

GCC — LAC

We didn’t see anything this week — what did we miss?

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