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U.S. town profits from Mexico’s gasoline crisis

A California border town is seeing big profits from Mexico’s gasoline price hike.

Angry about a 20% price increase in Mexico, protesters in the border town of Mexicali blocked gas distribution sites in the first week of January, leaving the city’s gas stations bone dry by Jan. 8.

Across the border in Calexico, gas stations are seeing a temporary boom in sales while vehicles wait an hour or longer to fill up.

“It’s great for us,” said Juan Arce, the manager of two SoCo Stations in the small Imperial County border town. “I do feel bad for the people to the south.”

Mexico’s gas controversy began on Jan. 1, when the price of gasoline increased across the nation. The president said this is a necessary step to deregulate the country’s entire energy sector. The move is estimated to bring in foreign gas companies and boost the economy.

In Mexico, the price hike was seen as just one of a long list of reasons to protest. The scandal-plagued president has a historically low approval rating, violent crime is on the rise and the peso has been losing value ever since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election.

On Wednesday morning, federal police officers in Mexicali cleared the road so that gasoline distributors could refill gas stations. By the afternoon, some were open but the demand was so high that lines to the pumps were more than an hour long.

Some gas stations throughout Calexico – a town of 40,000 people that borders a city of 680,000 – have tripled their sales.

SoCo Gas Station is one of 10 gas stations along Imperial Avenue within a mile from the U.S.-Mexico border. All of them saw their sales increase since the price hike in Mexico.

“It’s been more than double,” said an excited Carlos Vera, the manager of a Shell gas station a few blocks north of the SoCo.

On a good day, the Shell station can sell up to 5,000 gallons of gas. But since Sunday, they’ve been selling almost 10,000. The station has had to refill every day from its distributor, Vera added.

The gas protests in Mexico have spawned another concern: longer wait times at the border.

Those desperate for gas in Mexicali have to endure above average wait times to cross into the U.S. Jose Luis Aguilar, a cab driver, waited two and a half hours to enter the U.S. on Monday. He filled his car up and waited another two and a half hours to get back into Mexicali.

“I didn’t make any money,” he said. “At least the drivers with a visa can fill up – the cab drivers without a visa are screwed.”

On Wednesday morning, motorists filled up gallon containers of gasoline to bring back with them into Mexico. Some even filled up metal barrels and empty laundry detergent containers in order to give gasoline to friends and family unable to cross the border.

“My friend hasn’t had gas in almost two weeks,” said Anabel Solorsano, who lives on the U.S. side of the border and was trying to take gallon containers south.

Calexico’s gas station operators hope the increased sales last a couple of more days.

“I’ve seen people that have never been here before,” said Arce from the SoCo. “Hopefully we got a few new customers.”

Follow Gustavo Solis on Twitter: @journogoose

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 Minimum wage increases nearly 10 percent in Mexico

On Sunday January 1st, Mexico’s minimum wage rose almost 10% in a jolt to the system meant to stoke the poorest workers’ buying power, which has been eroded by recessions and past bouts of high inflation.

But the prospect of higher earnings is doing little to dent pessimism among consumers, who start 2017 facing rising fuel costs, higher interest rates and a weakening peso that closed 2016 near record lows against the U.S. dollar.

Labor, government and business leaders on the Minimum Wage Commission agreed to raise the daily minimum wage to 80 Mexican pesos, or about $4, from 73 pesos, a break from a years long custom in which annual increases were roughly in line with inflation.

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Mexico’s discussions on raising the minimum wage coincide with moves in the U.S., where some 4.4 million workers in 20 states are set to receive increases at the beginning of the year. That has also fueled debate on whether it will make U.S. employers reluctant to hire.

The commission split the increase into two parts: Four pesos a day to restore purchasing power and on top of that 3.9%. Authorities hope the 3.9% will be used as the benchmark for other wage negotiations, avoiding the so-called lighthouse effect where minimum-wage increases fuel demands across the board and threaten an inflationary wage spiral.

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The minimum-wage increase followed several years of studies and discussions on the effect it could have on productivity, employment, and inflation.

Around 15% of the country’s 52 million workers make minimum wage, according to government data. Most of them are employed informally, and a majority contribute less than half of their household income, so many households survive because they have several wage earners.

“It would be a utopia to think that a family lives on 74 pesos a day], not even one person lives on 74 pesos,” Carlos Acevez del Olmo, secretary-general of the Mexican Workers Confederation, said at a news conference.


By Elliot Bullman for Mexico News Networkf Trump closes the door on Mexico, Canada can thrive by keeping it open

In spite of Trump’s protectionist threats, the Mexican economy is poised for a First World takeoff

By Don Pittis, CBC News Posted: Jan 04, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 04, 2017 6:32 AM ET

According to Donald Trump’s election rhetoric, Mexico was exporting criminals and rapists. Now the president-elect is calling for a border tax on exports of Mexican-made General Motors vehicles.

In Trump’s view, the southern neighbour represents a threat, whether it’s from teeming migrants crossing the border to compete for U.S. jobs or low-paid workers attracting factory jobs to Mexico.

That’s not what the experts say, especially for Canada.

There is growing evidence that Mexico and Canada are ideal trade partners and that Canadian business will benefit by opening doors, not building walls.

Trump tweeted his call for a “big border tax” on GM’s Mexican-built vehicles yesterday morning.

GM was quick to respond, insisting that most of its cars sold in the U.S. were made there.

Ford, meanwhile, announced it was cancelling a $1.6-billion Mexican auto plant while expanding operations in Michigan to build electrics and hybrids.

Trade opportunity

With such a reaction, it might be tempting to suggest that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau follow suit and demand cars sold in Canada be made in Canada.

But in the case of Mexico, there’s a better way.

Although the U.S. with its right-to-work legislation could try to compete with Mexico for low-wage jobs, that would be much more difficult for Canada.

And despite the stereotypical view of many Canadians, Mexico is much more than a low-wage economy.

Demonstrators from the countryside march down Mexico City’s main boulevard past the sparkling stock exchange buildings, showing two sides of a country in transition. (Don Pittis/CBC)

Handicraft markets on beach vacations may perpetuate a cartoon image of the country, but a visit to Mexico’s vibrant and sparkling capital city, undergoing a long-term building boom, offers a very different view.

A new report by the Conference Board of Canada commissioned by HSBC makes the case that Mexico and Canada may be ideal trade and investment partners.

The report sees clear signs that Mexico is on the verge of an economic transition that will only benefit Canadian companies that get involved.

Despite Trump’s claims, the number of Mexicans running from poverty to the United States has dwindled. While Spanish speakers continue to cross Mexico to enter the United States from other Latin American countries, an increasing number of Mexicans are finding good work at home.

Mexico gains as U.S. trade partner

In December, news that Mexico had displaced Canada as America’s second biggest trading partner got lots of attention in Mexico.

But the reason U.S. companies want to locate there is that the country has become a global manufacturing hub, having free trade deals with more countries than anywhere else.

The median age of Mexicans is 28, compared with 42 in Canada, but the population explosion has ended. A declining Mexican birthrate and increasing job prospects are leading to what the Boston Consulting Group describes as an imminent “demographic dividend.”

“Essentially, Mexico could benefit from a similar economic boom to what Canada and the U.S. experienced in the 1970s, when the wave of baby boomers entered the workforce,” says the Conference Board report. “As a result, millions of Mexican households will be joining the middle class in coming years which is likely to fuel robust growth in consumer spending.”

Mexico is far less vulnerable to external shocks than it was during previous economic predicaments such as the Tequila Crisis in the mid-1990s.

According to a recent report from the rich countries’ think-tank, the OECD, the largest part of Mexican growth is being created at home as ordinary people strive to obtain goods and services Canadians have grown to expect.

“Domestic demand remains the main driver of economic activity, supported by recent structural reforms that have cut prices to consumers, notably on electricity and telecoms services,” says the OECD November economic forecast for the country.

As Robert Gordon noted in his recent book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the one-time adoption of modern technology can create a dramatic economic transition.

Already Canadian companies have begun to offer their experience, notably Scotiabank, with more than 800 bank branches, in a country expected by the International Monetary Fund to outgrow the U.S. and Canada.

But as Mexicans explore middle-class advantages from pets to consumer goods and a wide variety of international foods, there are plenty more opportunities for Canadian companies, says the Conference Board report.

No country’s future is perfectly secure. Inequality, corruption and organized crime make people feel unsafe and are bad for legal businesses.

There are signs of a backlash in the coming elections, as Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (known as Amlo for his initials) takes a page out of Trump’s book and runs for president as a populist outsider, promising to stamp out corruption and “Mafia power” and bring real change to the country.

It seems inevitable that change is coming to Mexico, and Canada has much to offer, from education and technology to services and social strategies to specialized manufactured goods and high-quality foods.

Trump’s attacks on Mexico have damaged the country’s pride, and the president-elect is so disliked that his image was used as a pinata during holiday festivities. Canadian business can win respect, and perhaps opportunity, simply by presenting a friendly and understanding face.



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Photo – Stacey Roberts OhrLets Commuters Glide Over Traffic



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.What you need to know

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You need Mexico car insurance because it’s required and US /Canadian insurance coverage stops at the Mexican border. Every year Mexico implements stricter laws for uninsured motorists, meaning not having it can cost you money due to damage/loss to your vehicle, fines and more
When you drive your car to Mexico, travel with complete peace of mind, by being properly insured. Your U.S. or Canadian insurance policy, however comprehensive, won’t cover you in Mexico, but affordable insurance is available…

Mexican Auto insurance You Can Trust if you ever get into an accident in Mexico

Insuring Your Car in Mexico
Although your U.S./Canadian car insurance policy may be comprehensive, and might also extend some limited damage coverage in Mexico, you will still need to purchase policy that is legally valid in Mexico.
U.S. and Canadian auto insurance policies, however comprehensive, hold no legal jurisdiction in Mexico. This means that you must buy separate insurance cover for your car while you’re driving in Mexico if you want to travel with complete peace of mind.

If you are driving your car improperly insured in Mexico and you become involved in an accident it will, at best, cost you a lot of money and, at worst, leave you imprisoned in a Mexican jail house. Presenting a U.S. or Canadian auto insurance policy will be of no use because these documents have no legal or actual force in Mexico, and the companies backing them will not settle any claim arising when you or your car are situated south of the border.
Drivers who are involved in serious accidents in Mexico are usually arrested pending investigation. If you are not properly insured in Mexico and become involved in a serious accident—even if it’s not your fault—these procedures will likely place a great deal of stress and financial burden upon you.
This guide explains how insurance works in Mexico and how to go about buying the additional insurance protection you need to ensure that you, your passengers, and your vehicle are properly insured when driving on Mexican soil and that, in the event of a serious accident, you are properly covered by a legally-valid and adequate insurance policy.
Mexican Auto Insurance
Mexican Law stipulates that only insurance companies which are licensed in Mexico can provide the type of auto insurance coverage that is recognized and accepted by Mexico’s legal system.
A few U.S.-based insurance companies will extend physical damage coverage on cars and RVs while they are situated in Mexico, but they cannot and do not provide Mexican liability insurance. So, although these policies may cover your damage, they will not cover your liability to others in Mexico. This is why a special insurance policy is absolutely necessary to be properly insured in Mexico.
Mexican Insurance Companies
Mexican Law also stipulates that liability insurance must be purchased from a licensed Mexican company, so your auto insurance policy necessarily needs to be issued by one of Mexico’s insurance companies, or through a broker in the U.S./Canada working in conjuction with a Mexican insurance company.
Who’s Insuring You?
Buyers purchasing insurance for their car in Mexico are often times misled by believing that they can rely on the broker, rather than the Mexican Insurance Company, to properly handle any claim that may arise during their stay in Mexico.
The insurance company underwriting your policy is much more important than the Broker that sells you the policy.
As all insurance policies are sold through brokers, it’s important to know which insurance company (or companies) are underwriting the policies being sold to you by the broker. Click here to read more  Click here to get your free quotes


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Dog Friendly Hotels in MexicoThis is a partial list of Dog Friendly Hotels that we have found on the web. They are unverified so if you find one that does not accept pets or who has changed its policy, please send us a note. Click here to read the entire list of hotels

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