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Boycott on US harmful for Mexico

OPINION: Mexico’s ban on US products could result in a shot in the foot for the Aztec country
File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
02/05/2017
11:18
Mexico City
Newspaper leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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Donald Trump’s aggressive attitude against Mexico, as well as Mexicans, expressed clearly since the start of his campaign and in a slightly more moderate way since his arrival at the White House, has been sought to be fought by the civil society with specific actions. One of them is the proposal to stop buying American products, especially those brands prominently linked to the neighboring country.

According to the experts’ opinion, instead of affecting the American economy, this proposal could turn out to be a shot in the foot, bringing opposite results to the Mexican productive sector.

For instance, the world's largest Coca-Cola bottler is a Mexican company with presence in Latin America and the Philippines. To stop buying the product would have little impact on American interests and would instead represent a serious blow to the thousands of Mexican employees who work in that industry. The same occurs with the most famous American coffee brand in the world; the operator in the country is 100 percent Mexican capital and has presence in several countries.

It is not with occurrences or outbursts that such potential commercial attacks from Washington can be faced.

Both countries are part of the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has mechanisms to resolve disputes. In addition, there is a possible renegotiation of this Agreement promoted by the US side with the argument that it is an unfair agreement that damages them. It is strange that, after 23 years of validity, the US government finds that the NAFTA is unfavorable.

The Mexican government has announced that it is ready to begin talks and that, in the face of any sign of taxation to Mexican products, which implies the annulment of the sense of free trade, it will be preferable to withdraw from the Agreement.

One of the best actions that can be taken is developing an industrial policy, because up to now - contrary to what Donald Trump says - out of the products that Mexico exports, only a small percentage is of Mexican origin; American components dominate.

The country needs to move from being an economy that is still mostly manufacturing-based and exporter of raw materials to develop technology and national manufacturing. Only then, a call could be made to buy domestic products over US products, not before.  

 

 

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