The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect on January 1st, 1994. The goal of the agreement was to eliminate barriers to help promote positive trade and investment between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. To accomplish this, tariffs were eradicated over time and almost “all duties and quantitative restrictions…were eliminated by 2008,” (“North American Free Trade Agreement”).
Since the 1990s, Mexico’s energy policy has shown a tendency to prioritize short-term objectives as well as its relationship with North America, which resulted in a focus on the production of crude oil for exports to the US. In contrast, the reform passed in 2013 focused on lowering energy costs for Mexican households, increasing investment and employment, and putting the government at the center as owner of oil and gas and regulator of the oil industry. The national presidential elections of 2018 will define the path Mexico will follow in the coming years.
According to a recent publication by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), Mexico is the world leader in its combined overweight and obesity rates among adults, with over three-quarters of the population over 15 suffering from one of these two conditions (Mexico News Daily 2017). To make matters worse, Mexico’s obesity rates have been gradually on the rise over the past forty years. Obesity reduces both the quality of life and the life expectancy of individuals by putting individuals at higher risk for developing chronic illnesses.
As Mexico’s July elections quickly approach, many are raising concerns regarding potential foul-play from Russia. In December of last year, the U.S.’s former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster alarmed Mexicans and internationals alike when he announced in a speech to the Jamestown Foundation in Washington that evidence of Russian meddling in Mexico’s elections had already been uncovered (Garcia & Torres 2018).
Just past 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 25, a family was caught in the crossfire of a shootout between gang members and Mexican marines in the border town of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. In what has been described by the marines as a series of ambushes by the criminal group, a total of nine people were brutally killed, and 13 injured. Included in these numbers were a mother, father, and their two young daughters, aged 4 and 6 (Univision).
After months of speculation and uncertainty, the White House released a statement on Saturday, March 10, declaring that President Donald Trump will be attending the Summit of the Americas, or
Out of the 25 countries in the world with the highest rates of violence against women in the world, 14 of them are in Latin America and the Caribbean (UN Women). Of the top 10 countries considered to be the most dangerous for females, 7 are in Latin America (UN Women). These disturbing statistics have led people to question what exactly it is about Latin America that makes it so prone to this form of violence—and what, if anything, can be done to change this pattern.
As 2017 unfolded, the Mexican tourism sector was booming. For the majority of the year, the country was seeing a 20 percent average gain in international passenger arrivals (following a three-year positive trend), and American Airlines Vacations reported a 25 percent rise in demand for Mexican beach destinations (Navarro & Cattan 2017). However, a travel warning issued on August 22 of last year by the United States State Department proved to be destructive.
The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, has been a controversial piece of legislation since its conception in 1994. This controversy has been reignited since Donald Trump, now the president of the United States, has repeatedly referred to NAFTA as ‘the worst trade deal ever signed’, and a threat to U.S. manufacturing jobs (New York Times). During his election campaign, one of the largest proposals of his platform was to withdraw from the agreement, an idea on which he has flip-flopped quite a bit since his 2017 inauguration.
As we move into the New Year, many around the world are at the edge of their seats, awaiting one of the most highly anticipated elections of the year: the Mexican presidential election on July 1. With Enrique Peña Nieto leaving office after the end of his highly contested 6-year term, this year’s elections will play a large role in determining the future of the Mexican economy and party politics.