February 7, 2020
1. Marcelo Ebrard and Michael Kozak discuss bilateral agenda
Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, met privately with the Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Michael Kozak, to discuss the shared bilateral agenda between Mexico and the U.S.
During the meeting, the two agreed to advance on topics including the fight against arms trafficking and investment opportunities in the framework of the USMCA agreement. The two officials also discussed the ongoing cooperation project developed at the southern border of Mexico, with the objective of addressing the migration crisis across the entirety of Latin America.
El Heraldo de México: Marcelo Ebrard y Michael Kozak revisan agenda común de seguridad
2. Largest trade value in history registered between Mexico and the U.S.
Trade between Mexico and the United States increased to a value of USD $614.5 billion for 2019, which represented a 0.5% increase compared to 2018. The figures presented by the U.S. Department of Commerce represent a new peak in the two countries’ trade relationship.
The Mexican market represented 14.82% of the U.S.’s total foreign trade, making Mexico its northern neighbor’s chief trade partner. On the other hand, the Bank of Mexico reported that during 2019, remittances from family members living abroad totaled USD $38.48 billion, an increase of 7.04% over the previous year and the highest amount ever recorded.
3. Tax collection increases due to fight against evasion
According to data from the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, revenue from tax collection amounted to MXN $233.4 billion (USD $12.46 billion) 2019, the highest such figure ever recorded.
The Mexican Institute of Public Accountants affirmed that the measures implemented by the government, such as the fight against companies that develop false invoices, the surveillance of outsourcing, the fight against fuel theft and the implementation of technology in audits by the Tax Administration Service (SAT) allowed, among other items, raising tax collection to record levels.
4. More than 10 institutions cut Mexico’s growth forecast for 2020
After the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) published the Timely Gross Domestic Product Estimate for the fourth quarter of 2019, which showed a contraction of the Mexican economy of 0.1%, private sector specialists have adjusted their 2020 growth projections for Mexico downwards.
Citibanamex, Moody’s, Barclays, BBVA, Focus Economics, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, among others, have reduced their growth expectations for Mexico between 0.6% and 1.3%. Despite the downward adjustments, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit maintains that the economy will end 2020 in the green at 2.0%.
5. UNAM schools accumulate three months on strike
The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) has accumulated more than 3 months of conflict with acts such as the total closures of schools and expansive demonstrations demanding a halt to sexual harassment and the cessation of any type of gender violence.
The conflict that began in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters has escalated with strikes across more than 23 UNAM schools and various acts of vandalism reported at the university’s seat. UNAM Dean Enrique Grau Wiechers and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, agree that there are groups with outside interests at the university, and have insisted on calling for dialogue in the university community to advance the protestors demands.