Skip to comments.Mexico's new antimonopoly legislative bill advances (probably due to immigration pressures)
Posted on 04/08/2006 3:22:43 PM PDT by Shuttle Shucker
Mexican lawmakers won backing from the nation´s largest business group for a bill to increase competition in industries ranging from telecommunications to manufacturing, paving the way for passage as early as this month.
The legislation, which would increase fines for anti-competitive practices, limit appeals and force repeat offenders to sell assets, may be voted on by the Chamber of Deputies Economy Committee on April 18, said Jorge Luis Hinojosa, a member of the committee. The full house would vote two days later, barring significant changes, and the Senate by the end of the month, he said.
Teléfonos de México SA, the fixed-line telephone company controlled by Carlos Slim, is among companies in Mexico whose high prices are limiting the nation´s ability to compete, central bank Governor Guillermo Ortiz said March 8.
The proposed law is aimed at curbing such dominance to help spur economic growth and create jobs, said Eduardo Pérez Motta, chief of the anti-trust agency. "It´s a law that will have a big impact on the country´s competitiveness, on growth, on employment and with very clear benefits for consumers," Pérez said in an interview late Thursday.
The lower house committee on Thursday reached agreement on the bill with the Business Coordinating Council (CCE for its intials in Spanish) )and the antitrust agency, Hinojosa, a member of President Vicente Fox´s National Action Party, said in an interview on Thursday. The law would increase fines to as much as 10 percent of annual sales and create incentives for executives to bring forth evidence of anti-competitive practices, said Pérez.
The agency would have the power to make visits to companies to verify compliance and could break up companies that repeat offenses, he said. "Mexico has been losing competitiveness and a lot of it is because inside the country there hasn´t been competition," said Hinojosa. "The intention of this law is to give incentive inside Mexico so there are no monopolies and to give access for more competition in markets."
Companies backed the bill after lawmakers agreed to require a court order for verification visits and to limit the visits to information previously cited, said Oscar Fitch, a member of the business council. Business executives also demanded clearer definitions under the law for terms such as monopolistic practices and efficient markets.
"We´re now all in agreement," said Fitch, president of the Mexico-City lobbying firm Fitch & Asociados. "It´s a step forward because it´s a more modern law, it gives us more legal certainty and there´s less discretion on the part of authorities."
Telmex said in a statement it declined to comment on the law while it´s still under debate in Congress. The number of appeals from companies that use several courts to delay implementation of decisions may drop by 30 percent under the new law, Pérez said.
Here's a recent article (also in English) about how Mexico's finance secretary has said that Mexico's monopolies in the telecommunications, electricity, petroleum and other sectors are hurting its ability to compete globally:
It's significant because in the past it was rather unheard of for a govt. official to act so patriotically down there (as opposed to timidly if not corruptly). The more we clamp down on illegal immigration (where's the wall the House voted for?), the more Mexico's reformers can become emboldened (and better protected in that land of rampant assassinations) to keep trying to make a difference in that fledgling democracy on our Southern border.
Break that and the 12 families lose their grip on the treasury.
Mexico's federal competition commission:
has its share of folks who work hard to diminish the adverse consequences of the vast, downright monopolistic concentration of wealth into the hands of very few in Mexico. Such robber barons are largely to blame for Mexico's need to export millions upon millions of illegal immigrants.
Currently Carlos Slim, the owner of Mexico's near phone monopoly TelMex (which has 93% of local land-based lines) is ranked #3 on Forbes' list of the world's wealthiest people (behind merely Bill Gates and Warren Buffet). He also owns America Movil / Telcel which has over 80% of the cellphone accounts in Mexico. Fees are comparatively very high, even as Mexico's foreign investment law:
somehow still manages to evade World Trade Organization Doha Round negotiation pressures by continuing to force foreign ownership in land-based telco services to be limited to merely 49%. Consequently MCI and AT&T lost their shirts in Mexico while Carlos Slim snickered and aired anti-gringo, downright racist advertisements further sealing their fate. We let THEM own 100% of their telco operations up here, but nobody wants to buy their mediocre "services" so companies like TelMex in the USA have scaled back operations. Nevertheless, we can't own more than 49% down there so unlimited calling plans don't even exist in Mexico yet.
Thanks to the World Trade Organization's ongoing Doha Round negotiations, the United States Trade Representative's Office could help us do something about this and plenty of other anti-gringo injustices down there that result in the flooding of illegals into our own country, if called upon enough:
tel. 202-395-3150, 202-395-7305
Such calls empower and embolden reformers at our own USTR to stand up to those in our federal govt. who don't want to risk annoying Mexico's government (which is still complacent and afraid of Carlos Slim who can buy so many media advertisements wherever he likes that almost everyone with a thinking mind down there is at least somewhat afraid of him).
The U.S. Trade Representative's office is heavily involved in WTO Doha Round negotiations to try and make such dreams a reality. Feel free to call them and ask what they've done for us taxpayers lately?
tel. 202-395-3150, 202-395-7305
The sanctity of our own borders remains in the balance.
"Do as I say, not as I do..."
Can you say "Pemex" ???
Mexico will be basically out of petroleum in less than 2 decades, according to predictions from numerous sources. Think how much our borders will get flooded then if they don't shape up down there beforehand?
I support that suggestion whole heartedly.
A cursory review of recent history indicates the we will have better luck reforming the Mexican oligarchy than our own political class.
The growing percentage of Mexico's poor, which we are educating, is going to come back to haunt Mexico's elite.
Just as we are being drug into the third world, they will be drug into the first.
Mexican Gov't Wants Links with US Firms for Oil Exploration -----http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=30411
I highly agree with you. There are currently 3 million internet access accounts servicing Mexico's 105 million. Mexico govt. sometimes inflates that figure, claiming there are 6 users per account. The more there are online, the more enlightened they become. Wireless broadband solutions (WiMax, for example) remains pent up in Mexico's telecommunications bureaucracy:
That can change, though. This anti-immigration wall is forcing Mexico's government to adapt. Stress is the mother of innovation and our immigration backlash is the cradle.
But Mexico's labor unions don't want anything resembling privatization, because then they'd have to work. They are still legally allowed to protest and block traffic down there and they do so whenever there's a potential reform like that, or the lack of a pay-hike, or whatever else irritates corrupt union leaders. No wonder they won't let U.S. labor unions, not even the REPUBLICAN sympathetic Teamsters Union, get active in Mexico.
Can you believe how Mexico hypocritically complains about OUR immigration laws while maintaining such excruciatingly anti-gringo immigration laws of its own (which are FAR more restrictive than ours)?
I would agree. The Mexicans really need to go back to their homeland and join in making their own country better instead of blindly following crooked leaders.
IMO, a lot of free traders are reaping what they sewed.
We didn't have this mess of illegal immigration until NAFTA. NAFTA was supposed to stop the flow of illegal immigration but instead increased the flow. Now, if I read you correctly, you want us to beg or call the WTO. LOL!!!!
Mexico will remain corrupt. Orbrador, the front runner in the presidential election, is supported by Carlos Slim.
Any thoughts for how we can facilitate the reformers' finally getting to reform Mexico like this thread's news shows is potentially on the verge of happening? In my humble opinion, our not letting up on the immigration debate helps. But there's still other stuff we can astutely do too, like call the USTR I guess to demand more pressure at the WTO Doha Round level. Anything else come to mind?
Mexico developed health care breakthroughs during the 1970's when petroleum prices were so high globally, so that's when their baby-boomer generation emerged. They're now old enough to need work and have flocked to the USA. Can you imagine how much worse things would be if it wasn't for NAFTA and the democracy that it helped empower reformers in Mexico to finally obtain for our neighboring #2 trading partner?
Incidentally Lopez Obrador is NOW in a statistical deadheat with the right-leaning Felipe Calderon (of the PAN party). The more we put pressure on Mexico, immigration-wise and pro-entrepreneurially, the less chance Lopez Obrador has of winning.
You mean we big-fat-albino-immigrant-hating-bogeymen are actually interested in HELPING the people of Mexico? Blasphemy!
Mexico's Calderon Leads GEA-ISA Presidential Poll With 36%
March 31 (Bloomberg) -- Felipe Calderon of Mexican President Vicente Fox's National Action Party led in a presidential poll for the first time, according to a survey by Grupo de Economistas Asociados-ISA.
Calderon had 36 percent support from likely voters, up from 32 percent in February, Mexico City-based consulting company GEA said today. Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has led polls in the past, placed second to 34 percent, down from 41 percent in the previous GEA poll.
Felipe Calderon's PAN party is the closest, ideologically, to Ronald Reagan's style of the Republican Party. How is it that Leftie Lopez Obrador led the polls without uninterruption for yearS only to suddenly lose that lead for the first time last week? My view is that the immigration debate's having reached its recent feverish pitch made more Mexicans realize that they had better learn to swim on their own, rather than sink into liberalism like Venezuela has done behind Chavez. Presidential elections (and Congressional ones, and there's NO incumbency down there) transpire this July 2nd.
Those with a vested interest in blocking reforms down there LOVE calling us racist whenever we do something to turn the pressure valve on them and their synecures. And conveniently enough for them, foreign ownership of t.v. and radio stations in Mexico is still GREATLY restricted to a mere minority interest. Consequently Mexicans are literally brainwashed, and the phone monopoly down there is still keeping nearly all of them OFF of the internet. Cable t.v. companies in Mexico STILL can't even offer phone service, so they're not yet a viable force...and since ownership of their companies is greatly restricted for foreigners, well you can imagine....
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