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MEXICO AND LATAM WORKFORCE NEWS
         Mexico & LATAM Workforce News | Wednesday, March 22, 2017
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Trade With Mexico Is Great: Don't Let Reckless Protectionism Destroy an Important Trade Relationship
Latin American Economies Will Reach a Turning Point in 2017
How San Diego Built a Bridge Over the Wall
How to Manage Remote Teams Effectively
4 Interview Questions to See the Truth in Every Candidate
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Trade With Mexico Is Great: Don't Let Reckless Protectionism Destroy an Important Trade Relationship

The most shameful aspect of the U.S.-Mexico trade imbroglio – ignored in analyses of the North American trade agreement and immigrants arriving illegally in the U.S. – is that it's a big fuss over something that actually generates significant economic benefits and jobs for both countries. This is the economic reality that no protectionist, mercantilist rhetoric about saving some American jobs can disguise.

As much as we might hear politicians, pundits and the media complain about the U.S. trade deficit, we have a lot to be thankful for. When you peel back the rhetoric and get to the data, the numbers tell an important economic story about the substantial benefits of international trade.

It doesn't seem to matter to those waving the protectionist banner that millions of American jobs are directly tied to trade with Mexico, and that there is evidence that growth in U.S. exports of oil and natural gas to Mexico is driving increased energy production here in the U.S. Trade with Mexico has benefited the U.S. economy and generated a large number of jobs in U.S. oil and gas fields. Mexico is second only to Canada in energy trade with the U.S.

But the relationship with Mexico wasn't always this way. For decades, energy trade between the U.S. and our neighbor to the south has been driven by Mexico's sales of crude oil to the U.S. Through 2014, Mexico's exports of crude oil had been the most valuable part of energy trade between the two countries. From 2006 through 2010, for example, the value of Mexico's crude-oil exports to the U.S. was two to three times greater than the value of U.S. exports of gasoline, diesel and other finished petroleum products to Mexico.

Then the U.S. oil-and-gas industry benefited from the long-brewing shale revolution, which upended everything. The combination of fracking and horizontal drilling has significantly boosted domestic oil and gas production. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2015 and 2016, U.S. energy exports to Mexico, including rapidly increasing volumes of petroleum products and natural gas, continued to rise, while Mexico's crude-oil exports to the U.S. continued to decline. In 2016, the value of U.S. energy exports to Mexico was $20.2 billion, while the value of U.S. energy imports from Mexico fell to a multi-decade low of $8.7 billion, resulting in an energy trade surplus of $11.5 billion.

Today about 7.5 percent of the natural gas produced in the U.S. is exported, and more than 60 percent of those exports go by pipeline to Mexico. U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico totaled nearly 2.9 billion cubic feet per day in 2015, rose to an average of 3.7 billion cubic feet per day in 2016, and there are indications that flows early in 2017 are exceeding 4.2 billion cubic feet per day.

Pipelines under construction are expected to nearly double the gas exporting capacity from the U.S. to Mexico, with much of the gas used to generate electricity. Despite all the bluster about how trade with Mexico hurts America's economy, the fact that Mexico is becoming a growing and important energy export market for the U.S. demonstrates that trade with our southern neighbor benefits domestic industries like oil and gas, boosting U.S. jobs.

Let's not forget capital flows, which are another important part of international trade. Americans have invested nearly a trillion dollars in Mexico over the last decade, which further documents the economic and financial integration with our important trading partner and neighbor. These investments have contributed to the creation of more than 1 million jobs and led to better living conditions in Mexico. There is evidence that economic improvements in Mexico have actually curbed immigration from that country in recent years. Indeed, at a time when U.S. politicians are batting around arguments and insults about immigration, one trend that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves is that more immigrants returned to Mexico between 2009 and 2014 than migrated to the U.S., according to a 2015 study from Pew Research.

Trade with Mexico has led to important economic gains for both countries. If the well-documented mutual benefits from U.S.-Mexico trade are properly recognized, trade with our second largest export partner will continue, unimpeded by protectionist policies that would actually wind up weakening the U.S. economy, reducing exports like natural gas and harming American consumers and workers. The stakes for the United States and Mexico are very high. Let's not let reckless protectionism disrupt trade relations with our neighbor at this critical time.

By Mark Perry, Contributor - www.usnews.com - Feb. 16, 2017

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