Issue 52| July 25, 2014
Mexico's energy reform: The next phase
Mexico's Senate approved bulk of legislation to implement historic constitution reform that would open the country's oil and gas industry to foreign investment for the first time since 1938. The new hydrocarbon laws are a central part of President Enrique Pena Nieto's economic reform agenda. Final congressional approval of the energy secondary laws is expected by late July or early August. Read more.
TTIP talks resume despite growing criticism  
The sixth round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations took place last week, with trade officials hopeful about finalizing a trade deal by the end of 2015. If successful, the E.U.-U.S. trade relationship will cover more than 40 percent of the global GDP and would account for large shares of world trade and foreign direct investment. Although negotiations are making steady progress in all of the working groups, criticism over various issues has been growing, including food labeling, geographical indications, lack of transparency and Washington's reluctance to include regulatory cooperation on financial services in the TTIP. Read more.
U.S. dismisses E.U.'s proposal to tighten restrictions on geographical indications
The U.S. Dairy Export Council rejected suggestions by the E.U. that U.S. producers should give up their right to use common food names on the U.S. market. Although 95 percent of E.U. food and beverage products are protected with Geographical Indications, E.U.'s wish to protect other common names, such as feta, parmesan, munster and gorgonzola, has become an ongoing concern in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The U.S. claims that these restrictions, if implemented, will negatively affect hundreds of U.S. companies and supply farms, eliminating competition and granting commercial advantage to certain E.U. manufacturers, which will defy TTIP's primary goal of liberalizing trade. Read more.
China considers building railways in Brazil 
Brazilian officials are hopeful that Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit will deepen a strategic partnership between the two nations and lead to more Chinese investment opportunities in Brazil. However, analysts claim that China is hesitant to invest in Brazil's manufacturing sector due to Brazil's high labor costs and regulatory challenges. "There is no growth in credit and the government has not delivered on promises to improve infrastructure. The Chinese are well aware of this," said Riordan Roett, director at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. Brazilian officials remain hopeful about possible Chinese investments projects that include building railways to the ports of Ilheus, Itaqui and across the Andes to the pacific coast of Peru. Read more.
B20 Summit calls for greater infrastructure investment 
During the Business 20 (B20) Summit on July 17-18, business leaders lobbied the Group of 20 (G20) bloc to greater investment in global infrastructure. They also criticized that the excessively tight financial regulation restricts financial inclusion, deters infrastructure investment and limits the provision of trade finance. Tackling the infrastructure deficit is one of the four areas the B20 says is critical to meeting G20's ambitious growth targets. Read more.
The South Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) 
There has been a disagreement between analysts and government officials on how KORUS is working out since it went into effect in March 2012. Critics point out that although KORUS lowers tariffs on U.S. exports, the economic slowdown and non-tariff barriers lead to a rising U.S. trade deficit. However the U.S. Trade Representative provides uplifting export statistics on various industries. Read more

Canada & Mexico: Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Aug. 20

Since the launch of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) 20 years ago, Canada and Mexico have become important strategic partners, demonstrating increased bilateral trade and investment. Hon. Carlos Sada, Consul General of Mexico, and  Hon. James Villeneuve, Consul General of Canada, will join the Chamber's Global Council to discuss key issues, including trilateral trade opportunities and North American energy. 

Register Now! 

Compiled by Global Initiatives Interns Lilian Avedian and Ziyue Yan.

For more information, contact Aaron Borboa, 213.580.7583.