The Mexican state abandoned by Ford after Donald Trump's election says it's courting Asian manufacturers to make up for the loss. As Silvia Antonioli reports, the region's governor also says clearing up uncertainty over the future of NAFTA will be key to attracting new investment.
Mexico not in the mood for a Fiesta since Ford's decision to cancel a $1.6 billion factory development after Donald Trump's election. The state that was supposed to host the plant is now courting Asian businessmen. It's trying to make up for the investment lost since Trump threatened to slap an import tax on Mexico and ditch the North American Free Trade Agreement. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SAN LUIS POTOSI GOVERNOR, JUAN MANUEL CARRERAS, SAYING: "Certainly in regards to clarification of trade in the free trade agreement (NAFTA), once we have clarity on NAFTA, I'm sure Mexico and San Luis Potosi will have plenty of opportunities to attract new investment." Ford is not the only large corporation to shelve its Mexican plans to focus on the US. Tech giant Samsung is reportedly planning to expand its U.S. production facilities, shifting some manufacturing from Mexico. And its rival LG said last month it would spend $250 million building a home appliance factory in the US. Some now fear there may be more bad surprises for Mexico and its peso, depending on Trump's next moves. (Soundbite) Nick Parsons, Global Head FX Strategy, National Australia Bank, saying (English): "The rally in the peso that we have seen over the course of the last couple of months probably reflects a very best case scenario and it's gonna be difficult for that currency to makes gains from here." Mexican and U.S. officials have said NAFTA negotiations could begin from around mid-year onwards. In the meantime Mexico faces the hard task of stemming the outflow of investment as best it can.