Mexico Looks Toward Reopening Economy As Virus Cases And Death Counts Remain Unclear

The government will slowly start reopening June 1, which could give some relief to auto manufacturers who trade heavily with Texas.

By Joy DiazMay 25, 2020 1:42 pm, ,

The United States’ border with Mexico remains partially open during the pandemic. That means Texas still has some direct access to its largest trading partner. But many businesses south of the border aren’t able to participate in trade right now because Mexico is still in lockdown.

Eduardo Garcia, editor-in-chief of Mexico’s financial news agency Infosel, told Texas Standard host David Brown on Monday that the inability for businesses like auto manufacturers to maintain trade with the United States has been hard on the economy and workers.

But the lockdown has been one way to protect Mexicans from the coronavirus, especially because it’s unclear how many people there have it. The government is allegedly undercounting positive cases and deaths.

“That has created uncertainty as whether we are being able to flatten the curve or not,” Garcia said. “But it seems like things have not gone as well as the government had expected.”

The number of new cases in Mexico is currently growing by a rate of 4% to 6% every day, Garcia said.

The government said reopening will start on June 1.

Mexico has implemented some programs to help with the economic fallout. A joint program between banks and the government allows for a three-to-six-month forbearance on mortgages and auto loan payments. So far 2.7 million people have applied. Unlike the U.S., though, Mexico did not issue stimulus checks.

The Mexican government has also funneled money toward social programs that help the elderly and assist young people just entering the workforce. But it might not be enough to counterbalance the jobs and businesses that may be permanently lost. Garcia said 300,000 restaurants have already folded.

“That is some of the relief that’s getting to people, but the bulk of this crisis is yet to come,” he said.

Web story by Caroline Covington.


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