Wednesday, December 4, 2013
You hear all that buzz about China taking over the world? About it becoming the largest economy on Earth, about it taking over all our industries slowly but surely, about every corporation on Earth rushing to the Middle Kingdom to tap into its billion-plus population? It's happening to tequila, too: earlier this fall, Mexico's tequila producers shipped over their first boatload of premium tequila to the Chinese. And the drink is already so popular that representatives with the Tequila Regulatory Council are already stating China will be the second-largest importer of tequila by five years.
Friday, November 8, 2013
OK, this article has nothing to do with trade, transportation, or manufacturing in Mexico, but the topic of the best fish taco in Baja California is often debated in the offices of Bill Hay International.
A pretty good article from the Wall Street Journal of all places.
Most of these newer taco styles are found in Tijuana, served from street carts, food trucks and restaurants everywhere from Centro, the tourist-friendly downtown center, to the Zona Río, where many tech companies are headquartered, and out into the hilly suburban neighborhoods.In recent years, other seafood-filled tacos have become popular in Baja. Chefs are using a wide range of ingredients, and the many migrants who have arrived from other parts of Mexico in the last few decades—particularly from the neighboring states of Sonora and Sinaloa—have brought their native variations to the table.
"I see [our new style] as a rebel kid who doesn't take orders from anybody and is just very free, very creative. Nobody's telling him what to do," says Javier Plascencia, a chef who serves a wide variety of seafood tacos at his 6-year-old Tijuana restaurant, Erizo Fish Market. "Baja California's very young. We're not Oaxaca or Puebla, which have all this history."The most recent additions to the city's taco menus emerged from the region's newest food movement, an upscale, post-colonial cuisine started by chefs in Tijuana and Ensenada. The cooks draw inspiration from local ingredients and Baja's long history of international influences, rather than from the Spanish flavors that inform food traditions in the rest of Mexico.
This stand in downtown Ensenada serves excellent fish and shrimp tacos, accompanied by a wide array of salsas and toppings. These include pickled onions, chipotle mayonnaise, whole pickled jalapeños and long slivers of fresh cucumber. The sauces are made daily by the members of an extended family who take turns running the stand. Corner of Calle Juárez and Avenida Floresta, Ensenada
3. The Myth Maker: Taqueria y Mariscos Adriana
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Mexico's military has taken control of one of the nation's biggest seaports as part of an effort to bring drug-cartel activity under control in the western state of Michoacan, officials said Monday.
Federal security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said soldiers are now responsible for policing duties in the city of Lazaro Cardenas as well as in the Pacific seaport of the same name. The port is a federal entity separate from the city.
"We have received anonymous tips that lead us to believe there has been corruption and collusion from people at the port," Sanchez said.
Sanchez said navy personnel will take over as heads of the administration and port captaincy of the seaport. He said about 156 customs and tax inspectors and officials at the seaport will be rotated out of their positions gradually.
All 113 police officers in the city of Lazaro Cardenas have been replaced by soldiers while they undergo drug testing and police training, Sanchez added.
The port of Lazaro Cardenas is the country's largest in terms of cargo volume and it has seen a number of huge seizures of precursor chemicals used to make methamphetamines.
The Sinaloa and Knights Templar drug cartels have been identified as gangs that engage in the production of methamphetamine. The Knights Templar cartel is based in Michoacan and is fighting vigilante "self-defense" groups for control of the state.
The Knights Templar, a pseudo-religious gang that takes its name from the ancient monastic order, has set fire to lumber yards, packing plants and passenger buses in a reign of terror in the state.
The cartel's extortion of "protection" payments from cattlemen, lime and avocado growers and other businesses prompted some communities in a lime-growing region to form armed vigilante patrols in February. That drew more attacks from the cartel, which sought to punish the area by hampering the lime business.
Michoacan is the home state of former President Felipe Calderon and it is where he launched the federal government offensive against drug trafficking upon taking office in late 2006.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Joint U.S.-Canada-Mexico Statement on Strengthening Trade and Economic Relationship | Department of Commerce
Joint U.S.-Canada-Mexico Statement on Strengthening Trade and Economic Relationship | Department of Commerce
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 28, 2013
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast and Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo issued a joint statement on strengthening the three countries’ trade and economic relationship. The ministers participated in a discussion on the topic at the North American Competitiveness and Innovation Conference in San Diego earlier today.
“We, the ministers responsible for International Trade and Commerce for the United States, Canada, and Mexico held a joint meeting in La Jolla, California today, where we were participating in the North American Competitiveness and Innovation Conference. The conference is bringing together government and business leaders to discuss the economic and commercial advances that we have made in the 20 years since NAFTA was implemented, and how we can build on that progress to continue growing our economies and creating jobs.
A generation ago, with NAFTA, the United States, Canada, and Mexico established a new global standard for economic integration. We have achieved thriving commercial relationships and deeply connected supply chains. The North American economy, which is one of the most competitive economic platforms in an increasingly competitive world, remains strong and our workers, businesses and communities continue to thrive.
By demonstrating that increased trade drives job creation and economic growth, we have set a valuable example globally and have built a solid foundation upon which North American competitiveness can continue to be enhanced to the benefit of all our citizens.
We pledge to continue helping our businesses grow and our workers succeed through enhanced regulatory cooperation, and coordinated efforts to facilitate increased trade through many initiatives, including the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. We have committed to ensuring that our competitive advantages as a continent are maintained and enhanced.
We agreed to work on a constructive agenda to strengthen our trade and economic relationship. We are committed to crafting a roadmap that both promotes prosperity across the NAFTA region for the next 20 years and maintains our position as the most competitive region in the world.”
Two decades after passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the top commerce officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico called Monday for strengthening their economic ties, saying a united trade bloc will be key to remaining competitive in an increasingly globalized world.
“How do we build on the success of NAFTA? How do we make sure this region remains an attractive place, and the foremost place in the world to invest?” U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said in a Monday interview with U-T San Diego during the North American Competitiveness & Innovation Conference in La Jolla.
Such questions are driving the agenda for the event, which opened Sunday and will end today. The conference brings together government officials from the three countries along with a range of CEOs, trade experts and promoters of cross-border business.
The potential for growth is vast: Taken together, the NAFTA countries represent a population of 460 million and $1 trillion in annual trade — a sum that the U.S. government wants to see doubled, Pritzker said.
The conference, hosted by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, marked the first time the three high-level officials met together.
Following a closed-door meeting with her counterparts, Pritzker joined them — Mexico’s secretary of the economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, and Ed Fast, Canada’s minister of international trade — for a panel discussion before a luncheon audience of 400 people.
“The supply chains that wrap themselves around the globe in a globalized economy have changed the game for all of us,” Fast said. “Our challenge is to take NAFTA, which was an incredible foundation to build upon, and move our trilateral relationship to a new level.”
To move forward, participants cited the need for addressing issues such as making border infrastructure upgrades, facilitating labor mobility across borders and collaborating on regulatory frameworks.
Guajardo said because of NAFTA, “the economic geography of Mexico has changed radically.” At the time of the agreement’s signing, manufacturing represented only 15 percent of the country’s exports — compared with 85 percent today, he said.
But NAFTA’S benefits have been uneven in Mexico, Guajardo said, with border regions and central states such as Queretaro “tremendously transformed” while in other states such as Oaxaca, Guerrero and Campeche, “you don’t see the effect. ... It’s like you have two Mexicos.”
Major reforms being proposed for the energy, education and tax systems will help bring improvements to the country’s poorer regions, Guajardo said.
The conference’s coordinators aim to raise the visibility of NAFTA’s successes and build support for increased collaboration among the partner countries.
“NAFTA has been very successful, but it’s yesterday’s news in some respects,” said Laura Dawson, a former Canadian trade official and currently a consultant on cross-border trade. “We can only do better internationally if we consolidate our competitiveness at home.”
Charles Shapiro, president of the Institute of the Americas at UC San Diego, called for returning the focus to North America on trade issues. “We’ve all fallen in love with East Asia, we’re falling in love with Europe, but the key point we need is to make this relationship work so that we can negotiate as a bloc.”
Looking ahead means adapting to a world that has changed rapidly in the past two decades, conference participants said.
“NAFTA was a market-access agreement” that focused on removing quotas and customs duties that limited the movement of goods across borders, said Patrick Kilbride, executive director of Americas Strategic Policy Initiatives for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Now we’re much more focused on integration issues like the ability to provide services across borders, the ability to finance projects across borders, to have supply chains go back and forth across San Diego and Tijuana, for instance.”
Chris Sands, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., said much remains to be done. “We have conflicting regulations, border security that’s become quite militarized. We’ve got a witch hunt for illegal aliens going on rather than having a dialogue about labor and mobility and how do we get jobs to people who need them,” he said. “A single North American market has not been realized.”
Monday’s conference schedule included panels on public-private partnerships, tourism, clean energy and green technologies, and the automotive and aerospace industries.
Today, interim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante and Eddie Francis, mayor of Windsor, Ontario, are scheduled to participate in a discussion on regional innovation and competitiveness. Other panels will focus on specific cross-border regions and the role of media.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Alvarez, a Democrat, is a first-term councilman who represents the city’s southernmost neighborhoods.
By Curt Prendergast Nogales International | Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013 7:23 am
Nohe Garcia’s face lights up when he starts talking about his vision for Nogales, particularly the businesses his 215-acre development near Mariposa Road could bring to the city.
He is carving an industrial park out of the rolling hills northwest of the Mariposa Port of Entry in anticipation of the $200-million port expansion, slated for completion next year, and the increased cross-border flow of products from the growing assembly plant industry south of the border.
Garcia’s 215-acre spread, known as the La Loma Grande project, will be a hefty addition to the industrial area along Mariposa Road, adding large lots that could be used by manufacturers, border logistics companies, produce distributors, and customs officers, among others.
His is just one of several industrial projects being planned along the corridor stretching north from the port of entry, according to city of Nogales building records.
Long-time Nogales customs house Suarez Brokerage is planning to build a 38,000-square-foot office and warehouse facility on North Calle Cobre, just off of Mariposa Ranch Road. And a mile north of the La Loma Grande project, Maval Warehouse is expanding its operations to include a new 25,000-square-foot warehouse on Industrial Park Drive, said owner Marco Valenzuela.
The company deals primarily in cross-border trade, such as importing fruits and vegetables from Mexico and shipping automobile parts and raw materials to foreign-owned factories in Sonora, he said.
The expanded Mariposa Port of Entry promises to increase cross-border trade, making the decision to build a new warehouse a simple one, Valenzuela said. “Because of expanding business we are foreseeing that we will require more capacity,” he said.
Also in the works is a 90,000-square foot produce warehouse on North Target Range Road, according to city building records. Other projects, such as a 100,000-square-foot warehouse and a 5,000-square-foot office complex, both on Freeport Drive, are still in the preliminary permitting phases.
As Garcia walked around the La Loma Grande property, he pointed out a long, curving road that creates a loop from the existing industrial park on Mariposa Ranch Road, through the property, and then back to Mariposa Road.
“The loop is what gives life to the development,” he said, adding the loop will be as wide as Mariposa Road so that tractor-trailers can pass easily through La Loma Grande.
His hope is that tractor-trailers will be making the rounds through the development for customs brokers, logistics companies, and any other company that wants to set up shop near the expanded port of entry.
For Garcia, the port expansion already is bringing positive feedback from potential investors. “For a couple of years there was nobody calling. Now, people are calling,” he said.
The port serves as “a very important link in our logistics corridor,” he said. “It’ll give us the possibility for real growth.”
In particular, the port should ease the crossing of products from the growing assembly plant industry in Sonoran cities such as Nogales and Guaymas, which could mean more products passing through Nogales in coming years, Garcia said.
By January, Garcia expects his project to be far enough along to show businesses the first round of properties, which he said would be seven acres each, although they could be expanded if the client so desired.
The development’s large lots will allow Nogales to better compete with other ports of entry on the border, such as Otay Mesa in California and Laredo, Texas, he said. “We need to compete with them and Nogales doesn’t have any large lots,” he said.
Garcia is also working to bring what he calls “value-added manufacturing” to Nogales, in which an existing assembly plant in Nogales, Sonora sends products across the border for finishing or packaging, an idea that is in line with a recent University of Arizona study of Santa Cruz County businesses that called for greater integration with the plants south of the border.