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You know, this could be the start of a beautiful relationship

16 August 2009


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico and Brazil should negotiate a free trade agreement to boost commercial ties, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said on Saturday.

Calderon, who is in Brazil for a state visit, is a staunch supporter of free trade and has argued that opening up trade is the easiest way for poor nations to develop their economies.

“Today we should understand that the opportunity for Mexico and Brazil is a greater integration of commercial ties,” Calderon said in a speech in Sao Paulo, Mexican media reported.

Mexico’s economy has been slammed by the recession in the United States, its biggest trading partner. Gross domestic product is expected to contract by at least 6.5 percent this year, putting Mexico on track for its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Mexico currently sends about 80 percent of its exports to its neighbor to the north.

I don’t believe there’s any more “free trade” than there is a free lunch, but I’ve said several times over the last three years that one of the biggest problems with the Mexican economy was that it was too tied to the United States… and that NAFTA was, inadvertently or otherwise, a one way street (leading to the poorhouse, for the independent Mexican farmer who didn’t want to go into the marijuana trade).

The other point (and one I’d need to check) is that this is about the 30th of the 50 points in the Lopez Obrador “50-point plan” for the Mexican economy that the Calderon Administration said they’d never consider… but now do.

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