Business & Economy

Mexico urges regional integration in Americas to avert Chinese dominance

Mexico City, Dec 21 (EFE).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday that nations in the Western Hemisphere should strive to enhance regional economic integration to remain competitive with China.

“In 2050, if there is not a strengthening of the economy of North America and of the Americas, China will have the commercial economic dominion of the world and we do not regard that as suitable,” the president, popularly known as AMLO, told a press conference.

“And for us, independently of the commercial economic question, we don’t want the hegemony of any country, because if there is not balance, people will want to resolve those disparities with the use of force,” he said.

AMLO was responding to a question about “Plan Mexico,” an initiative aimed at enticing Western firms that now produce goods in China to invest in manufacturing in the Americas.

During last month’s North American summit in Washington, AMLO noted that China already controls 14.4 percent of the global market, while the United States, Mexico and Canada together have 13 percent.

The president acknowledged that his vision for Plan Mexico includes the adoption of import-substitution across the Americas.

“It even includes investment and loans for import-substitution to encourage industrial development, it’s not just that companies who are in China come to Mexico or North America, it is a plan with stimulus,” AMLO said.

“It is not about closing our economies or the region to international trade, nor creating tariffs on foreign goods, much less trade wars,” he said.

He reaffirmed that his proposal likewise contemplates the creation of temporary visas for Mexican and Central American workers to address labor shortages in the US and Canada.

“Everything cannot be left to the market,” AMLO said. “In this case what we can do is joint medium- and long-term planning.”

Since taking office in December 2018, the leftist Mexican president has lobbied Washington for efforts to improve economic prospects in Central America as a way to reduce emigration. EFE ppc/dr

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