Mexican economic plan aims to cut migration to the US | Eurasia Diary -

20 May, Monday

Mexican economic plan aims to cut migration to the US

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While Donald Trump remains steadfast in his plan to build a wall along the US-Mexican border, Mexico's new president wants fewer of his countrymen and women to feel the need to emigrate in the first place.

To help achieve this, Andrés Manuel López Obrador has started a new initiative to boost the economies of towns and cities along the Mexican side of the border.

"The new zona libre should help people here get jobs," says Gerardo. "It could transform the lives of Mexicans here... and yes, some will not feel the need to look for work in the US."

The free zone scheme was introduced last month after President López Obrador announced it at the end of last year.

Running the entire length of the 3,180km (1,954 mile) US-Mexican border, and 25km wide, the sales tax inside the area has been halved from 16% to 8%.

At the same time, income taxes have been cut from 30% to 20%, and the minimum wage has been doubled to 176.20 pesos ($9.24; £7.12) per day.

In addition, fuel prices in the zone have been reduced to the same level as in the US.

President López Obrador, who is left-wing, hopes that in addition to reducing emigration to the US, the initiative will encourage more American companies to invest in Mexican firms, and therefore boost cross-border trade ties.

"It is a very important project for winning investment, creating jobs, and taking advantage of the economic strength of the US," he said.


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