Mexico eager to lure firms from Asia under new trade deal

first_imgConsidering Mexico’s diverse manufacturing base, Marquez said the government was interested in attracting a range of companies from across the globe.She said the government also would seek to speak with Apple and other US firms about relocating their supply chain to Mexico.Retelling a recent conversation with Lopez Obrador, Marquez said she pointed to the cellphone she was holding in her hand and said, “These phones don’t have to be produced in China, … there is an enormous opportunity to produce them” in Mexico.The government is looking to attract North American and European firms producing in China, Singapore and Vietnam.Marquez said the new trade deal came into force at a “critical” juncture for both the Mexican and the global economy and that it could help Latin America’s second-largest country recover from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.Topics : “In steel we see the biggest opportunity,” Marquez, a Harvard-trained economist, told Reuters in an interview. “We want to show these companies the opportunities that open up with this increase in regional content requirements.”Marquez said the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has held talks with foreign steelmakers, including South Korea’s POSCO, Japan’s Nippon Steel Corp and Mitsubishi Corp and Ternium, about investing in Mexico to produce steel for the auto sector.She said there is a possibility foreign steelmakers could partner with or take a stake in Mexico’s Altos Hornos de Mexico. A spokesman said the Mexican company is not currently in talks.None of the other steelmakers immediately responded to requests for comment. Mexico has spoken to a host of foreign companies, particularly steelmakers, in an effort to lure business from Asia to capitalize on a new North American trade deal, Economy Minister Graciela Marquez said on Monday.The United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) took effect at the beginning of this month, replacing its quarter-century-old predecessor, as the coronavirus pandemic wallops the global economy and international trade.The new deal includes tougher content rules both for autos and steel and aluminum than when the North American Free Trade Agreement was launched in 1994.last_img read more

Cop: Slaying suspect ‘excited’

first_imgLANCASTER – A sheriff’s deputy sent to the Palmdale Park and Ride lot where college student Michelle O’Keefe was shot to death six years ago testified Friday that the security guard suspected in the slaying seemed excited and talked rapidly. Deputy Billy Cox said Raymond Lee Jennings, who was patrolling the lot for a private security firm hired by the city, flagged him down as he drove into the lot in response to a “shots fired” call. “I pulled up and asked if he had heard anything. He was excited, talking fast and told me somebody had been shot and pointed,” Cox testified. “I hit the accelerator and drove down to the car that had its lights turned on.” Cox said later he had to ask Jennings to step out of the crime scene, where he had been shining his flashlight on the ground, but he didn’t know if Jennings had picked up or moved anything. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“While I was seaching for shell casings, the defendant began to assist me without my authorization or request. At one point, he told me, `Look, I found one,’ or `Here’s one.’ I thanked him for finding it and told him to get out of my crime scene,” Cox said. Jennings, a 32-year-old Iraq war veteran who was arrested about a month after he returned home on leave, has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in the Feb. 22, 2000, slaying of O’Keefe, an 18-year-old Antelope Valley College student. The deputy’s testimony Friday came during a preliminary hearing at which Antelope Valley Superior Court Judge Christopher Estes will decide whether prosecutors’ evidence against Jennings is strong enough to warrant a trial. The hearing is scheduled to resume Thursday with more testimony from a detective and a crime scene investigator, and probably discussion about the autopsy report. O’Keefe was found shot to death behind the wheel of her blue 2000 Ford Mustang in the lot on Avenue S. Prosecutors said O’Keefe was shot three times in the face and once in the chest. O’Keefe had returned to her car after leaving it at the lot while she rode with a friend to work as an extra during the taping of a music video for rapper Kid Rock. With its engine running and the driver’s door opened, O’Keefe’s car had backed out of a parking space and rolled over the edge of a small concrete planter. Cox said he found O’Keefe sitting in the driver’s seat with her left leg hanging out of the door. Cox said the gunshot residue around the wounds indicated the shots were fired at close range, and the chest wound looked as if it occurred with the pistol muzzle shoved against her flesh. “She was not moving. She appeared to be lifeless,” Cox said. “I reached inside (the car) and began to feel for a pulse.” Cox said he found shell casings in front of the Mustang. “It appeared they were strung from north to south” in front of the car, Cox said. A former co-worker testified May 23 that Jennings once said he might have confessed to the slaying if he had been arrested earlier. Wes Chormicle, who worked with Jennings after the killing at a Lancaster car dealership, also said he overheard Jennings tell other employees details of the slaying, such as the sequence of shots that struck the victim. Chormicle also said Jennings had said he knew where there were rounds or slugs that deputies were not aware of, and that he had retreived them. In interviews with investigators, Jennings, working for a private security company under contract with the city, has denied killing O’Keefe. He told investigators he heard gunfire and watched the Mustang roll backward, but didn’t see the killer because his view was blocked by a parked van. Jennings said he called a supervisor and waited for her to arrive before approaching the car. Jennings was named in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed in December 2000 by O’Keefe’s parents but was not criminally charged until prosecutors filed the case Nov. 15, about two days before Jennings, a sergeant in the Army National Guard, returned home on leave. Prosecutors in the past declined to file criminal charges, citing insufficient evidence, but said after charges were filed that proceedings in the civil case changed the “character of the evidence.” The gun that killed O’Keefe has never been found. In May 2002, members of a local scuba diving club combed the murky bottom of nearby Palmdale Lake but turned up nothing. [email protected] (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img