Drug-Shooting ‘Bazooka’ Seized In As Smugglers Aim Skyward Amy Held – November 14, 2017 2:55 PM ET


Mexican officials seized some 1,800 pounds of marijuana and a bazooka reportedly adapted to launch the drugs into the U.S. in the border town of Agua Prieta on Nov. 9.

Brennan Linsley/AP

As Mexican authorities continue to crack down on drug smugglers, criminals continue to aim high in a bid to evade them. Last week, Mexican authorities seized a jury-rigged bazooka and nearly one ton of marijuana in the border town of Agua Prieta in Sonora state, the Mexican Attorney General said in a statement.

The bazooka had been “adapted” to use a compressor for launching drugs into the United States. The Mexican daily El Universal reports the device was inside a van with a sliding roof, allowing the bazooka to shoot the drugs from the cover of the vehicle.

Agua Prieta lies directly across the border from Douglas, Ariz. Last year, Mexican federal authorities found yet another “homemade bazooka” in the town, this one measuring nearly 10 feet long, alongside an air compressor inside a modified panel van with no license plate. Officials say it was apparently used for launching projectiles, possibly drugs, across the border.

ABC News video of homemade bazooka seized in 2016.

YouTube

Smugglers have been trying to hurl drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border for years.

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Why Americans should be bitter over Trump’s sweetened Mexican sugar deal – BY J.B. CHARLES – 06/24/17 08:00 AM EDT


Getty Images

Does anyone remember candidate Donald Trump carrying on about the Chicago-based Nabisco company moving 600 jobs to Mexico in 2016?

Does anyone remember the arguments about sugar imports during the debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993?

Or the prohibitions against importing Brazilian-made ethanol at a fraction of what Iowa ethanol costs the American consumer?

American sugar while tiny in jobs is powerful because it spreads millions of dollars around Congress.

Did anyone notice that the Trump Administration entered office with a sugar crisis centered on Mexican imports of refined sugar?

American sugar people claimed Mexico was violating NAFTA rules. Hot and heavy news reports brought attention to the “crisis” and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross drew a line and told us that sugar imports would be stopped from Mexico if an agreement wasn’t reached by a date certain in June.

Issue: American sugar producers were being out-competed by Mexican sugar producers; the specific item – refined sugar. American sugar refiners were being beaten in the refined sugar market by more efficient Mexican sugar producers. A quiet agreement was reached by the Trump Administration and the Mexicans. American sugar refiners won; they will make money by protection. The losers: American consumers.

My argument in 1993 in support of NAFTA was simply based. We in San Diego were paying double for sugar what our Mexican next door neighbors were paying two feet across the border in Tijuana.

Back to the Chicago Nabisco facility. Trump was incensed when Nabisco announced it was cutting its Chicago workforce by 600 jobs and moving those jobs to a new automated plant in Mexico. It became a campaign plank promising to stop that kind of job movement to Mexico.

NAFTA, Trump declared, was the worst trade deal in history; it was and is a “disaster.” There was no mention of why Nabisco was making the move.

The issue is nothing more than the U.S. government prohibiting a free market in sugar to protect a handful of sugar producers and refiners with the American consumer footing the bill. Americans pay as much as $1.4 Billion more in artificially-high sugar prices than they should.

Why?

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How U.S. Settles Sugar Dispute With Mexico Could Signal Nafta Intent – By Anthony Harrup in Mexico City and Julie Wernau in New York May 19, 2017 5:30 a.m. ET


U.S. is looking to reinstate anti-dumping and antisubsidy duties on imports of Mexican sugar

The U.S. and Mexico have to reach an agreement by June 5 on a longstanding dispute over sugar.

The U.S. and Mexico have to reach an agreement by June 5 on a longstanding dispute over sugar. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Image

As the Trump administration sets the clock running for a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a deadline is fast approaching in a longstanding dispute with Mexico over sugar that some see as a harbinger of how those broader talks could play out.

Unless the two sides reach agreement by June 5, the U.S. Department of Commerce will reinstate anti-dumping and antisubsidy duties on imports of Mexican sugar, risking a backlash from Mexico which denies that it subsidizes or dumps sugar in the U.S.

The duties were suspended in 2014 under agreements that limited imports and set minimum prices, but U.S. sugar producers say Mexican sugar is continuing to hurt their industry.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo discussed the matter this week with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, but declined to give details of the talks. “We’re advancing in that process and we think if we continue like that we’ll be able, before two weeks are up, to narrow our differences,” he told reporters.

Freight trucks from Mexico go through customs at Otay Mesa port of entry, in San Diego.

Freight trucks from Mexico go through customs at Otay Mesa port of entry, in San Diego. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Thursday notified Congress that it intends to renegotiate Nafta with Mexico and Canada, setting in motion a 90-day consultation period for the negotiations to begin. Some see the handling of the sugar dispute as a dress rehearsal.

“I think the sugar situation is like a preamble, a starting point for entering the Nafta negotiations,” said Carlos Blackaller, head of Mexico’s sugar cane growers’ union which represents some 180,000 cane producers in 15 Mexican states. “If our government accepts conditions, it would lose ability in those negotiations.”

Mexican producers say that if they are locked out of the U.S. market, they will seek actions against imports of U.S. high fructose corn syrup. U.S. corn refiners, who battled for years in the late 1990s and early 2000s over access to the Mexican market for HFCS, are concerned about fallout from a renewed trade spat in sweeteners.

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Andrés Manuel López Obrador Mexico’s populist would-be president – Mar 16th 2017 | JILOTEPEC


Mexico City, we have a problem

U.S. Edges Toward Trade War as POTUS Clash With Mexico Escalates – Bloomberg


U.S. and Mexico relations plunged into chaos on Thursday, pushing the countries closer to a trade war that threatens to spoil decades of friendship and economic cooperation.The feud grew increasingly hostile throughout the day, as Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto scrapped his trip to Washington after his U.S. counterpart the POTUS doubled down on campaign pledges to rewrite North American Free Trade Agreement and charge his southern neighbor to build a border wall. The Trump administration retaliated to Pena Nieto’s cancellation by floating the idea of imposing a 20 percent tax on all Mexican imports.“

 

This is a very bad day for U.S.-Mexican relations — the worst day in memory,” said Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington. “There is the real risk of things spiraling out of control.”The Mexican peso plunged and the clash slowed gains in the U.S. stock market amid growing concern that one of the world’s largest trading relationships was headed for divorce.For all of Trump’s complaints about Mexico, the two nations’ economies are deeply intertwined, especially in the border states — so much so that it might be nearly impossible to pull them apart without serious political or economic unrest.

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Source: U.S. Edges Toward Trade War as POTUS Clash With Mexico Escalates – Bloomberg

POTUS to Unveil Plans for Mexico Border Wall and Limiting Refugees’ Entry – by Margaret TalevJanuary 24, 2017, 8:28 PM PST


People hold signs that read, ‘ Build that Wall’ in Tampa, Florida.

Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

POTUS plans to unveil actions on national security starting Wednesday that are expected to include steps toward building a wall on the Mexican border and limiting refugee inflows to the U.S., moving to fulfill key promises he made during his election campaign.

“Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!” the president wrote Tuesday night in a message on his personal Twitter feed.w

The announcement on the border wall is expected during a Wednesday afternoon visit by the president to the Department of Homeland Security, the federal agency that has primary jurisdiction over securing the border and would carry out most of the other immigration-related steps that Trump talked about in his run for office.

The Mexican peso reversed early gains to drop to a session low against the U.S. dollar after news of Trump’s plan emerged.

One of the hallmarks of POTUS’ presidential run was his pledge to build an impenetrable wall between the U.S. and Mexico to keep out the people “taking our jobs” and to immediately round up and deport “criminal aliens.” He repeatedly said he will make the Mexican government pay for it, but may tap existing appropriations for border security at DHS to get the process started. Mexico’s government has rejected the notion that they will ever pay for the wall.

Refugee Freeze

POTUS’sa tweet presaged what’s expected to be broader moves in the coming days to curb immigration that would include limits on government programs to settle refugees in the U.S. The POTUS administration is considering a 120-day suspension on refugee admissions and a reduction in the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. this fiscal year to 50,000 from 110,000, according to a person familiar with the plan.

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The other face of immigration from Mexico is African – BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU – 12/10/16 08:22 PM EST


When we think of our immigration legal or illegal along our southern border, we often imagine a poor Latino family, led by a coyote across the Rio Grande under the cover of night in a desperate attempt to reach America.

America’s collective vision of immigration from its southern border is brown, not black.

© Getty Images

© Getty Images

However, Mexican authorities, and those who closely study immigration patterns are beginning to tell a different story along the U.S.-Mexico border.

African immigrants, are arriving daily in Mexico on 20-day transit visas, and paying upwards of $2,200 to be shuttled into America from Mexico to border towns like El Paso in Texas and Calexico and San Ysidro in California.

Exploiting a tiny loophole in Mexican travel regulations they have created a new path for African immigrants to arrive in the U.S. The 20-day window is just long enough for African immigrants to travel from Chiapas in southern Mexico to the border. Unvetted and, these immigrants arrive, live and work in the U.S. illegally.

This may all change with the election of Donald Trump, who has vowed to harden the border and bolster the ranks of agents working the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has also promised to deport as many as 3 million undocumented immigrants, which has sent chills through communities where undocumented African immigrants live.

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