Mexican president proposes ‘free zone’ to attract investment, reduce migration to US

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In a bid to reduce migration to the U.S. and attract investment, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has proposed the creation of economic “free zones” along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Tax Incentive Decree for the Northern Border Region, which Lopez Obrador announced Saturday, would create a free zone that would stretch from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Coast and be more than 15 miles wide, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Inside the zone, income taxes would be reduced by a third and Value Added Taxes on imported goods would be slashed in half, the minimum wage would increase 100 percent, and fuel prices would equal U.S. prices, the report said.

“It’s going to be the biggest free zone in the world,” Lopez Obrador said. “It is very important to project for winning investment, creating jobs and taking advantage of the economic strength of the United States.”

Lopez Obrador, a self-styled left-wing populist, took office Dec. 1 with the promise to help the country’s poor, noting that the nation’s minimum wage had lost 70 percent of its purchasing power in recent decades after devaluations and economic crises. – READ MORE

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