Posts tagged with "Mexico"

Who do you trust? Trump claims a wall made El Paso safe; Mayor Margo disagrees

February 12, 2019

As President Donald Trump confirmed plans for a Monday night rally in El Paso, Texas, the city’s mayor, Dee Margo, asserted that the lower incidence of crime that the area has enjoyed in recent years has not been the direct result of fencing at the southern border.

The president is expected to exhort his base for a wall at what amounts to a major campaign event—being held just days ahead of the deadline for Congress to hammer out a deal on the budget and border security, NBC News reported on February 11.

“The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime—one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities,” Trump said in his State of the Union Address on February 6 “Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities.”

But the statistics don’t back him up. Mayor Margo notes. According to law enforcement data, the city had low crime rates well before a border barrier was constructed between 2008 and mid-2009.

Indeed, NBC News reports, violent crime has been dropping in El Paso since its modern-day peak in 1993 and was at historic lows before a fence was authorized by Congress in 2006. Violent crime actually ticked up during the border fence’s construction and after its completion, according to police data collected by the FBI.

Democratic officials immediately took issue with the picture Trump painted, saying the president was using their city to justify a pointless and unnecessary wall.

“The facts are clear. While it is true that El Paso is one of the safest cities in the nation, it has never been ‘…considered one of our Nation’s most dangerous cities,'” the city’s sheriff, Richard Wiles, a Democrat, said in a statement after Trump concluded his address. “And, El Paso was a safe city long before any wall was built.”

“I believe he was given some misinformation,” Mayor Margo told CNN in an interview, adding the idea that El Paso was a lawless and dangerous place before fencing was built is “not factually correct.”

Margo said he’d correct the president if he reiterated falsehoods about El Paso on Monday. “The geography of Texas won’t allow a fence from El Paso to Brownsville even if you wanted to do it,” Margo said.

When pressed on the inaccuracy of the president’s claims, the White House said the high rate of crime in the city directly across the border—Juarez—proved that the barrier was responsible for the low crime rate in El Paso.

Research contact: @janestreet

UK ‘player’ Hamleys may expand into U.S. toy sector

December 11, 2018

Although Toys R Us has returned as a pop-up store at Kroger for the holidays (and maybe longer), the retailer that used to rule the toy realm is just a shadow of its former self. And, without the industry leading Toys R Us megastores, nationwide, an $11 billion toy industry has been left with no dominant retail player in the sector, reported CNBC on December 10.

Companies like TargetWalmartAmazon and Kohl’s are trying this holiday season to sell more toys to kids and their parents, but the verdict is still out on which company will best fill the void that Toys R Us left behind, the news outlet said.

But now—seeing a huge opportunity— one iconic, international toy retailer could soon make its first move into the States with a flagship location in New York, and plans for a wider rollout of stores to follow. British toy retailer Hamleys is close to finalizing a deal for roughly 30,000 square feet at 2 Herald Square in Manhattan, near Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret, a person familiar with those negotiations told CNBC, requesting anonymity because the talks are confidential. The store is expected to open in 2020, should the deal go through, said the source—cautioning talks are still ongoing between the tenant and landlord and nothing has been finalized.

According to CNBC, Hamleys has been around since 1760 when it opened its first location in England. Today, it has a flagship shop on tourist destination Regent Street in London, in addition to locations all across the Middle East, Asia and Africa. And in North America, Hamleys has three stores in Mexico.

In the United Kingdom, Hamleys’ stores are known to draw kids in for exciting experience, including the opportunity to play with life-size Lego figures. Often, employees dress up as fictional characters to entertain shoppers. This excitement in stores is what many people say the toy industry is now missing in the United States, CNBC reports. And shoppers prefer it to the online experience, where it is impossible to pick up a toy and look at it, or try it.

After an opening in New York, Hamleys would likely mote into other  major markets such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami to open store;  and would consider moving into some of the more profitable malls in the country, said the person familiar with its plans.

Hamleys didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Research contact: @laurenthomasx3

Six Flags will pay you to spend 30 hours in a ‘slightly used’ coffin

October 1, 2018

An “out-of-the-box idea” is gaining traction at the Six Flags theme parks. After more than 25,000 people registered for the chance to spend 30 hours in a box—a coffin, to be specific—at Six Flags St. Louis, the company decided to roll out the challenge at 15 of its parks in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The 30-Hour Coffin Challenge— scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 13 through 7 p.m. on October 14—is being used to take “the fear factor to the extreme” at the parks’ Halloween-themed Fright Fest, management announced in a September 27 statement. All participants who last the full 30 hours will receive a cash prize of $300, as well as Gold Season Passes for 2019, and Express Haunted House Passes.

“No one does Halloween like Six Flags and this year is the biggest and scariest ever. We have added more zombies, more ghouls, and more haunted mazes to make this the most talked-about Halloween event in the industry,” said Chief Marketing Officer Brett Petit. “And this year, the 30-Hour Coffin Challenge has taken the country by storm. Everybody wants in.”

To participate, you have to be 18 years of age or older and have a valid photo ID. In addition, competitors:

  • Cannot have medical conditions that would make lying in a coffin for 30 hours a risk to health or well-being;
  • Must sign a waiver at check-in;
  • Must be able to lie completely flat and still; and
  • Must provide their own pillow and sleeping bag or blankets.

Six Flags will provide the coffins and meals. Participants will receive one six-minute bathroom break every hour and will have access to phone charging stations. Friends can join participants while the park is open but won’t be allowed after the park closes.

Participants who leave their coffin for any reason except scheduled bathroom breaks will be disqualified.

Research contact: @Six Flags

Trump rips Republicans over ‘ridiculous’ spending bill: ‘Where is the money for the wall?’

September 21, 2018

President Donald Trump berated Congressional Republicans on September 20 over the lack of funding for his border wall in the spending bill passed on September 19—stoking a fight that GOP lawmakers had hoped to avoid until later after the elections in November, according to a report by The Hill.

The $854 billion appropriations bill was approved by the Senate on September 18 by a vote of 93-7, providing funding for the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education.

Six out of the seven opposing votes came for Republicans; Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) also gave a thumbs-down to the legislation.

The Senate version of the measure includes a continuing resolution that extends funding for all other agencies through December 7, after the midterm elections—offering a reprieve from the contentious border issue until after Americans have cast their votes.

The House is expected to take up the funding bill next week, ahead of the September 30 deadline to keep the government funded.

“I want to know, where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill, and where will it come from after the Midterms?” Trump asked in a 7:43 a.m. tweet, adding, “Dems are obstructing Law Enforcement and Border Security. REPUBLICANS MUST FINALLY GET TOUGH!”

According to The Hill, the president has repeatedly chastised lawmakers for failing to pass stricter immigration laws and has requested full funding for his proposed wall .

Indeed, earlier this year, the POTUS said he would be willing to shut down the government if he did not receive enough funding for the wall—and, in an exclusive interview with Hill.TV this week, Trump hinted that he intends to take an executive action on immigration in the coming weeks, although he declined to specify what it might be.

In late June, when the most recent polls on the wall were conducted, a CBS poll indicated that 51% of Americans believe that a wall along the United States southern border is a good thing, even if that structure does not span coast-to-coast.

Research contact: @Brett_Samuels27

Putin challenges Trump’s tariffs

July 5, 2018

Russia has requested talks with the United States on President Donald Trump’s decision to impose new duties on steel and aluminum—the first step in formally challenging the action at the World Trade Organization. Indeed, the subject may come up at the July 16 summit  in Helsinki, Finland, already scheduled by Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

The complaint filed Monday is the seventh initiated by a WTO member against Trump’s new tariffs, following cases brought by China, India, the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and Norway, Politico reported on July 2.

Moscow’s move comes just as the Trump administration is mulling 25% tariffs on auto imports in the name of national security.

The U.S. imported $192 billion in new passenger vehicles in 2017, according to Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Russia claims the U.S. duties of 25% and 10% on imports of steel and aluminum products, respectively, are inconsistent with provisions of the WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and the Agreement on Safeguards, Politico said.

The Trump administration imposed the duties under Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, which allows a president to restrict imports to protect national security.

However, rather than accept the U.S. national security rationale for the steel and aluminum duties, other WTO members are treating the restrictions as emergency “safeguard” restrictions, Politico reported. Such restrictions are allowed under WTO rules but must meet certain criteria to pass muster. Steel safeguard restrictions imposed by former President George W. Bush in 2002 were struck down by the WTO.

The EU, Canada, Mexico, China and others also have retaliated against the U.S. steel and aluminum duties, arguing that they are entitled to take such steps because the United States did not compensate them for imposing safeguard restrictions.

On tariffs, 48%  of Americans disagree with President Trump’s imposition of new levies on steel and aluminum imports, while 36% agree, according to findings of a recent CBS News poll. When asked specifically about tariffs on Canadian imports, the number of Americans who disagree rises to 62%. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans approve of the Canadian tariffs.

Research contact: @CBSNews

Trump imposes steel, aluminum tariffs on EU, Canada and Mexico

June 1, 2018

The Trump administration will levy onerous steel and aluminum tariffs on its close allies—the European Union, Canada and Mexico—starting today, in a move likely to lead to retaliation and risk the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), The Hill reported.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a conference call with the media on May 31 that—following months of entreaties from the three trading partners—the president had decided to end temporary exemptions.

This is not a step that the American public support, based on results of a recent Quinnipiac Poll. U.S. voters oppose (50% to 31%) tariffs on steel and aluminum, and disagree (64% to 28%) with President Donald Trump’s claim that a trade war would be good for the U.S. and easily won, the researchers found.

Every listed party, gender, education, age and racial group opposes steel and aluminum tariffs, except for the Republicans, who support tariffs by a lackluster 58% to 20%; and white voters with no college degree, who are divided (42% to 40%).

American voters oppose these tariffs (59 % to 29%), Quinnipiac found, if these tariffs raise the cost of the goods they buy. Indeed,American voters disapprove (54% to 34%) of the way in which the POTUS is handling trade.

Ross said on Thursday, “We look forward to continued negotiations with Canada and Mexico on one hand; and with the European Commission on the other hand, as there are other issues we need to get resolved.”

The Commerce Secretary noted that the Trump administration would need to see the reactions of Canada, Mexico and the 28-nation EU bloc before determining what to do next.

But, The Hill reported, he said that U.S. officials are “quite willing and eager” to have further discussions with all of the parties.

The trading partners all had warned America that they intended to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports, if President Trump made this move.

According to The Hill, the EU is expected to quickly retaliate with promised tariffs of about $3.3 billion on iconic American products such as bourbon, jeans and motorcycles.

Last year, nearly 50% of U.S. steel and aluminum imports came from the EU, Canada and Mexico. Trump first announced tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum for national security reasons in March.

Canada and Mexico also have said that tariffs are unacceptable, don’t affect U.S. national security and that their implementation could put the fate of NAFTA at stake.

Research contact: peter.brown@quinnipiac.edu

73% of Americans want NAFTA to add protections for intellectual property

January 24, 2018

Nearly three out of four U.S. voters  (73%) believe that the North Amertican Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should be revised and updated to better protect and value U.S. inventions and creativity; based on findings of a poll released on January 23 by ACTION for Trade, a coalition of trade associations, technology companies and creative houses

The NAFTA agreement established a free-trade zone in North America. It was signed in 1992 by Canada, Mexico, and the United States and took effect on January 1, 1994.

The new poll of 1,986 U.S. adults comes as a round of NAFTA talks began yesterday in Montréal, scheduled to run through January 29.

Among the other key findings: Nearly 90% of Americans say that continued innovation is important to ensuring U.S. competitiveness; as well as job creation (91%), economic growth (91%) and the development of new medicines and treatments (89%).

Research contact: 189182@email4pr.com