Mexico Plans World’s Third Largest Seaport, Will Impact U.S. Ports on West Coast; Citigroup to Help Finance? (Updated 1X More on TARP $$ Going Overseas)

~~By InsightAnalytical–GRL

Breaking News…as I finish up this post Wednesday night (3/22) , I’ve just watched Dennis Kucinich with Greta on On the Record discussing the revelation that Citicgroup took part of its TARP bailout money and made deals with Chinese and Dubai companies, in effect, sending our money overseas.  The links are not up as of now, but I’ll post what I find tomorrow. In the meantime…read what follows and see if you don’t ask the questions we’ve been asking here at IA over the last few days…

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Yesterday I mused about what’s going on in Canada and its ties to the U.S. financial crisis and a couple of days ago, American Lassie wrote about the North American Community.  Earlier, IA took a look at a possible U.S. role Mexico and today, I’m looking at Mexico again, specifically about a certain plan that has been brewing for quite awhile and which seems about to take off.

About a week ago I opened the Albuquerque Journal’s Business Outlook section and found a full page story entitled “Planned Seaport to be the third largest in the world”.  (The link is working as I write this, but because the ABQ Journal is behind a wall and available to subscribers-only, I don’t know for how long.  http://www.abqjournal.com/biz/0294376619biz03-02-09.htm)

The seaport, called Punta Colonet, will be built here:

Punta Colonet (Photo courtesy REMAX)

Punta Colonet (Photo courtesy RE/MAX)

(More information on the location, including maps, at the end of this post)

A word about the columnist.  Back in 2003, Jerry Pacheco was running Gov. Bill Richardson’s newly-formed office dealing with Mexican trade (see press release at the end of this post). And here’s a bit more detail:

Pacheco is a recognized expert in Mexican affairs and has extensive business experience throughout Mexico. He established and ran the state’s first foreign trade office in Mexico City during the early 1990s, and is a syndicated columnist with regular international columns appearing in El Paso Inc., Ser Empresario magazine and most recently in the Albuquerque Journal.

Which brings us back to the ABQ Journal article in question…written by the guy in the know…

Planned seaport to be third largest in world

Albuquerque Journal–> By Jerry Pacheco
For the Journal
Punta

Colonet is a small Mexican Pacific coastal village located approximately 150 miles south of Tijuana in Baja California. Historically, this area’s economy has relied on agriculture and tourism. For the past five years, excitement and speculation has centered on Punta Colonet, as the Mexican government has announced that it will build a new Pacific seaport at this site.

The scope of the project is enormous by world standards. According to Mexican government reports, the port will be designed to handle six million containers annually at final build-out. In terms of processing volume, it will be larger than the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach combined. When completed, the site is projected to encompass an area of more than 27,000 acres, or slightly more than 42 square miles. It will be the third largest seaport in the world, behind only Singapore and Hong Kong. It is estimated that between 90,000 and 200,000 people, a small city, will be needed to operate the port facilities.


Punta Colonet is Mexico’s attempt to claim a larger share of the billions of dollars in merchandise shipments between North America and Asia, which are coming through ports farther north. It is estimated that this aggressive project will cost close to $2 billion in its initial phase, with a final build-out estimate of up to $6 billion. Multiple sources of public and private monies will need to be accessed. Citicorp has been meeting with high-level Mexican officials to discuss participating in the financing of this project.

SNIP

In the current world economic recession, many people question the timing for Punta Colonet. Previously, the capacity and the ability of the mature U.S. West Coast ports to handle increasing ocean cargo was a major concern, but the volume at the Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports has recently decreased by up to 30 percent because of the economic crisis, and the capacity issue has become less important. Many people, particularly players in the U.S. and California, are worried that bringing such a large port on line would further depress and dilute the ocean cargo business.


SNIP

Punta Colonet has been designed to begin construction in 2012 or 2013, with completion around 2020, and had developed a strong momentum. However, in mid-January of this year, Mexico’s Secretary of Communications and Transportation Secretary, Luis Tellez, for the second time issued a postponement of the construction bidding process. At that point, it was announced that the global financial crisis had put the brakes on the project, but by the end of January the Mexican government announced it would begin administering the registration for proposals in April, with the actual process to accept these proposals scheduled for June.


Whatever the time frame, it appears that the Mexican government has decided to proceed with the Punta Colonet port. If the Santa Teresa region remains the preferred crossing point into the U.S. for this project, it could bring a slew of new economic development activities to the southern New Mexico-west Texas region (Paso del Norte region).

MORE

Now what is the first question that pops into your mind??  Citigroup gets bailout money, it’s share price drops to about $1, now they proclaim that they are profitable and the market soars on Tuesday, 3/10. I don’t know if all that is related to this port project, but you have to wonder at the very least: If the U.S. government is “funding” Citicorp, then does that mean the U.S. taxpayer will be building this port if the deal goes through??

Remember this story from just a couple of weeks ago?

Citigroup gets new rescue, U.S. may own 36 percent

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government will boost its equity stake in Citigroup Inc to as much as 36 percent, bolstering the bank’s capital base in the latest emergency effort to save the banking giant.

SNIP

While the latest rescue does not inject more money into Citigroup, it gives the government more of a voting stake and far greater influence over the bank’s operations, short of outright nationalization. The White House said a higher U.S. stake will help achieve a “better outcome” for the bank.

“The government is the new boss,” said Mike Holland, the founder of money manager Holland & Co in New York. “Every major decision is something that is not going to come out of Park Avenue, but is going to come from Washington, D.C.”

New York-based Citigroup in October and November received $45 billion of taxpayer money, as well as a government backstop to cap losses on $300.8 billion of toxic assets. More than two-thirds of these assets related to mortgages and commercial real estate.

SNIP

Pandit has split Citigroup into two: Citicorp, which has retail banking and other businesses that Citigroup wants to keep, and Citi Holdings, which includes troubled or underperforming assets it wants to sell or wind down.

A higher government stake could complicate Citigroup’s ability to operate in some of the more than 100 countries where it has businesses. Bank executives downplayed speculation that Citigroup might shed all or part of its ownership of Grupo Financiero Banamex, Mexico’s second-largest bank.

“We’re not open to the idea of offloading assets that we really want to keep,” Edward “Ned” Kelly, head of global banking and Citi Alternative Investments, said in an interview. “Banamex is a very important property to us, and we are intent on retaining it and maximizing its value.”

MORE

(Here’s more analysis of the situation at Citigroup from John Batchelor at The Real Barack Obama blog.)

And here’s more background on Asian investors who are also wanting in.  There has been a lot of behind-the scene negotiations and “intrigue” in lining up financial partners with political connections in Mexico, according to Pacheco.  Here’s some background you might find interesting from The Free Trade Alliance based in San Antonio, Texas. From April, 6,2006:

A Deck of Chinese Cards

Mexican and US officials and businessmen are stepping up contacts with China and other Asian nations in high-stakes bids to expand economic relations. Trade missions from Baja California, Chihuahua, Michoacan and Texas all have recently flown to meetings and tours in the emerging global economic powerhouses of the Far East.

SNIP

Their eyes fixated on the expanding Chinese star, Mexican officials are now considering opening an eastern-oriented Pacific port in Baja California to help handle the burgeoning trade volume. Located about 150 miles south of the US-Mexico border, Punta Colonet is emerging as a possible super port. Carlos Jauregui, the executive director of the port of Ensenada said construction of the port could begin in 2008 and be completed by 2012. Jauregui estimated the facility could cost about $5 billion dollars to build, including a rail link to the United States.

And what about the implications for U.S. ports?

The Cunningham Report, which describes itself as “an information source for the trade and transportation industry” commented on 89/31/08:

Although folks at both the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach have downplayed the impact of the Punta Colonet project and noted that completion of the port would be years away, if it is developed, the Mexican port could at some point pose significant competition.

Also, from The Puget Sound Business Journal, August 29, 2008:

While Mexican planners hope the Mexican port will attract cargo from congested Southern California ports, that could have a domino effect in the Pacific Northwest.

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are launching a joint marketing agreement to convince cargo owners to shift cargo from Southern California to Puget Sound, but that effort might have less success if Southern California congestion eases because of the Mexican port.

Otherwise the proposed Mexican port probably won’t take away too much cargo from Puget Sound ports, except for import cargo destined for Mid-Atlantic states, said Doug Coates, principal for TransSystems Corp. in San Francisco.

Puget Sound ports already are losing some cargo to the new Prince Rupert Port Authority in British Columbia, as well as to expanded East Coast ports including the Port of Savannah, Georgia. In July the Port of Savannah announced its volumes had increased 15 percent over the last year, while the Port of Seattle’s volume dropped 8 percent in the first half of this year.

The Portland Business Journal reports that Port of Portland officials “aren’t particularly worried about heightened competition,” but their article includes this tidbit:

Doug Coates, principal for TranSystems Corp. in San Francisco, said one attraction of the Punta Colonet port might be the promise of lower longshore labor rates, and the possibility that the Mexican port would be buffered from any labor issues with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. While that union recently signed a new contract, owners of cargo plan far ahead to avoid the effects of union disturbances.

“The shippers are still worried about longshore unrest on the U.S. West Coast and what happens with agreements,” Coates said. “The carriers like the fact that it’s lower cost and more flexible labor.”

Do you hear the sound of American jobs going down the tubes as the new “community” here in North America takes shape?

By the way, RE/MAX  Baja Realty is gearing up to sell  property with the proposed port as a selling point and their contact form is already up and working:

Welcome to Baja California’s Official website  for the largest Mexican public works project ever.

The purpose of Colonet Real Estate website is to bring information about the new project developing in Baja California, prices of all the possible property’s for sale and questions referring to Punta Colonet.

***

MAPS and More Information on Punta Colonet

Maps, Major Ports – US/Mexico Border Transportation Planning – FHWA.

Wikipedia Article on the Punta Colonet Area, port, and detailed map

More Background Information on Border Ties

Frontera Norte Sur, published by New Mexico State University (2006 edition)  Section of interest:

Banks Leap Across Borders

Given the green light by the Federal Reserve Board, a Mexican bank has finalized its majority-ownership purchase of the Texas-based Inter National Bank (INB). Luis Pena Kegel, director general of the Banorte Financial Group, said the INB will use its base from the city of McAllen on the Texas-Mexico border to expand into other regions of the United States.

“With this operation, Banorte has the intention of getting closer to families and businesses on both sides of the border with innovative financial products that nobody else is offering,” Pena said in an interview with the Mexico City daily La Jornada.

MORE

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UPDATE  3/13/09

Thanks to America Lassie for this link which has the video of the hearing mentioned by Kucinich on Greta:

http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2009/20090312104802.aspx

‘Nightly News’ Perplexed by TARP-Recipients Lending to Foreign Countries

NBC correspondent Lisa Myers investigates banking titans that made overseas loans in wake of congressional hearing.

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BACKGROUND on Jerry Pacheco, ABQ Journal columnist

Press Release from the State of New Mexico re: Jerry Pacheco

http://www.nmpartnership.com/press-releases/article.php?id=970&title=Pacheco+Heads+New+Mexican+Affairs+and+Trade+Division

Return to press release archive

Friday Jun 13, 2003

Pacheco Heads New Mexican Affairs and Trade Division

Contact: Cathy Ann Connelly: 505-476-3747
Santa Teresa, New Mexico – As part of Governor Bill Richardson’s efforts to improve commercial trade with Mexico, Jerry Pacheco, formerly deputy secretary for New Mexico Economic Development Department, is now director of the new Mexican Affairs and Trade Division. This office was created by the State Legislature to better oversee and coordinate the activities of the New Mexico Border Authority, New Mexico Economic Development Department, and the New Mexico-Chihuahua Commission.

Based in Santa Teresa, Pacheco believes the new office is a major, positive step toward increasing the trade and infrastructure interface with all Mexican states.

“State Senator Mary Kay Papen carried the bill that created this new entity, and it is one that will further our agenda of improving productive trade with Mexico,” said Pacheco.

New Mexico’s trade with Mexico is already a mainstay of the state’s existing economy to the tune of $106 million annually — particularly important in the southern part of the state. But although New Mexico shares a border with Mexico, the state is still ranked 39th out of all the states in the U.S. when it comes to its amount of business over the border.

MORE

***

RELATED POSTS:

What’s Going On North of the Border: The Canadian Economy and Stimulus Plan

THE PROPOSED NORTH AMERICAN COMMUNITY/NORTH AMERICAN UNION: 2010 Is Just Around the Corner

Secy. of Defense Robert Gates Downplays Possible U.S. Role as Fears of Mexico Collapse Mount; Don’t Be Fooled, There’s A Bush-Era Agenda Still Going On Here…

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14 Responses

  1. Here we go folks, Since our tax dollars seem to be holding Citigroup’s head above water I can now see the reason why.

    When it is obvious that the only way Citigroup is going to stay afloat is with more and more bail-out money from the government it stands to reason that the gov’t has its own reason to keep Citi going. This humongous port is a deal that the powers to be want built. It will be an important gateway to the new North American Community. Nothing like planning ahead, is there? With U.S. tax dollars purchase of Citi, we are actually investing in the port. Well, well, that makes it so nice, since, thanks to Dennis Kucinich, we now know that all that TARP money that we wondered about went overseas. Dubai, China, where else only Paulson, Bush, Geithner, Bernanke and Obama know. They don’t even think Congress has a right to the information.

    If I was angry before, I’m FURIOUS now. How dare they mortgage our children and grandchildren’s futures to bail out foreign banks, when Americans can no longer get a loan to buy a home, a car, household needs, or to handle any emergency that might arise.

    But in the New World Order line of thinking, it’s all one big happy family. This convoluted behavior that is putting Americans on the street without enough food to feed their families is not important to the men behind the scenes sitting on their billions. The only important thing to them is to achieve their goal of a Global Community with their Cabal as the head.

    This paper puppet that they put in as president of our country will see soon enough that if their plan comes to fruition, he is no longer important or useful to them, and he will be under his own bus.

    Thanks for the article, IA. After hearing the broadcast last night, about the TARP money going to foreign investments, I went nuts. We’ve been asking ever since the first money was given out “where did it go”? It didn’t seem to be helping the situation in America very much.

    Senator Schumer, D-NY, had said he was afraid the banks would “put it under the mattress”. What they actually did was worse.

    Too bad we didn’t know about this before Obama got the $410B on Monday. But then it will make him look like the man of the hour when he goes to the G20 Summit in April, because this is exactly what Robert Zoellick, head of the World Bank announced at the G8 Summit should be done with it.

    And who will pay for the direct rail line that will be needed to go along with the great Mexican Port? We poor tax-payers, that’s who. But does it really matter? If this keeps up, we’ll be just one big Global Family .

    By gosh, I could spit nails, I’m so mad.

    Damn Congress – let’s vote them all out.

    And Damn George Bush – he started all this TARP business with his buddy Henry Paulson.

  2. Lee, I didn’t mean to upset you THAT much…..LOL!!

    My fish was changed this AM and he will be back on the webcam tonight…relax and look at Trooper, the fish!

    PS…I may break your comment out for tomorrow’s post later in the day (want to carry this one over a bit…) I’ll see…
    I DO need a day off….

    • Oh, Lee…hate to deliver the news, but I have another article going up tomorrow that will get you madder….

  3. There is no good reason tax payers noney should go on infrastructure projects outside the US.

    But of course there is no government supervision of how that money is spent.

  4. And who, pray tell, is going to be left to buy these products being shipped from this country to that country to this country to that country? It sure won’t be the workers who won’t have enough money to pay for “a pot to piss in”, excuse my language! Oh, I know, the government will buy it for us and sell it back to us at some hyper inflated price and tell us to just STFU and die already, after we make more babies to work at slave prices for them and the corporate cabal heads who are looking more and more like Saudi Arabian royalty every day. And they have the military lined up to gun us all down if we try to revolt. And gun control laws are being pushed and passed right and left to get guns out of the hands of potential revolters. I can’t believe I am living to see 1984-like scenarios coming to fruition. We are getting f—ked and the citizens of our country seem to be following the old hateful adage, ” If rape is inevitable, then just lay back and enjoy it”. I for one will not do that and I am glad there are other “Paul Revere” types like you trying to get the people to wake up, before it is too late.

  5. Whatever you choose, IA. I’ve been agitating about this all day, and just can’t come to terms with it.

    I’ve been watching the news about Bernie Madoff. How is he any bigger thief than the ones who took the TARP money under the false pretenses that they were going to help the banks in America, so that the banks would be able to start money flowing again and main street America would benefit? I don’t think under any circumstances that our money should help Mexico have one of the largest seaports in the world. And with the dire straits of our economy right now, and Americans hurting the way they are, I don’t think one nickel of our tax money should go to foreign countries.
    We’re big on foreign aid, alright, but how about our own people? I’m sick to death of hearing “spread the wealth” What wealth? Many of us are struggling every day just to keep the roof over our heads and food on the table. When 700 people apply for a school janitorial job, you know this country is hurting.

    Sure, other countries are hurting, but you don’t see their governments shelling out tax money on the level of the U.S. to help their own, much less others. Those groups that want so much to make this a Global Community should put their money where their mouth is. Take a look at the list of the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateralist Commission, for example. There you will find the names of most of the wealthiest people in the world, royalty included. Let them open their pocketbooks for a change, and let the little guy keep some of his own for himself.

    And back to Bernie Madoff. Yes, he should go to jail. He stole all that money and caused more heartache than you can imagine, and it was good to see him in handcuffs. It would be even better to see all these other thieves who took the TARP money under false pretenses put in handcuffs and carted off to jail where they belong. a THIEF IS A THIEF and a LIAR IS A LIAR, whether he be a politician, a president, a treasury secretary, a federal reserve chairman, a banker, or whoever. He is just as much a thief as Bernie Madoff or a bank robber or a street thug with a gun in his hand. Really worse, because some of the above had our trust, and they betrayed us. You’ll notice I used lower case letters to describe their positions, because that’s just what they are – LOWER CASE.

    And before I have a stroke, I don’t want to leave out Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of England. He is so worried about the G20 meeting and what it is going to cost England to host the meeting. I understand that Queen Elizabeth is one of the richest people in the world. Maybe he should go hat in hand to the Queen and ask her to pay for the meeting, since it is so necessary to the survival of the world. I have the greatest respect for Queen Elizabeth, but do you
    suppose her wealth might be one reason why some members of the European Community are balking at the bail-out solution in their own countries?

    This G20 meeting on April 2 should be very interesting.
    I’d sure like to be a fly on the wall in that room.

  6. […] about it? Planned seaport to be third largest in world (Albuquerque Journal, thanks to GRL at InsightAnalytical) Punta Colonet is Mexico’s attempt to claim a larger share of the billions of dollars in […]

  7. Last night I listened to a Blog Talk Radio show that had Diamond Tiger (from Logistics Monster) as the featured guest; there’s a link to the archive on her site, well worth the listen. But one of the most important points Diamond brought out is that Obama was chosen by TPTB as a distraction. We spend so much time focusing on his buffoonery that we don’t watch what’s happening “over here”. She is 100% right, and I applaud her along with everyone here for not falling for the distraction. This excellent research is exactly what TPTB are hoping no one does.

    I am convinced that Citibank is a huge player in this, and I too was struck by their recent volte face (going from being nationalized to turning a profit in just about 2 weeks). Following the money is showing just how much it is mixing and mingling between the 3 members of the proposed North American Union, and you will continue to see Citi mentioned in small bits buried in obscure places. Of course, Citibank is the current rendition of National City Bank (one of the early players in the Federal Reserve System), so we’re back to the same group doing the same thing they always do: pushing for global domination in an indirect way. The plan is to take everything over quietly while they distract us with the Obama show, and by the time we realize what’s happened it will be too late. Our banks will be owned by Canada; our real estate will be owned by China; our jobs will be owned by Mexico, India, and Indonesia; and our souls will be owned by the central banks. We will have glass tracking chips implanted under our skin in the name of “National Security”, we will have video cameras recording every moment of every day in public and in private (think about all the public cams throughout London and the way that webcams are now built into every new laptop PC as standard equipment), each mouse click or keystroke on our computers will be tracked by software that’s been perfected over the past few years disguised as viruses and spyware, our mileage will be monitored and regulated electronically via GPS systems built into our vehicles (why else would the government buy the automakers?), our guns and ammunition will be monitored and eventually the attempt will be made to take them away (although I am convinced that this will fail and likely be their downfall), and how many Americans will be caught playing with our Obama “Yes, we can” messages on our cell phones and Ipods when the civilian police force comes knocking at our doors?

    The real message to remember here is one I must again attribute to Diamond Tiger: Don’t Panic. That’s what will set us apart from the masses, and if we spread the word far and well enough, it might be what averts the pending disaster TPTB have planned for us. Just remember a few basic points:

    1. Nothing is what it appears to be. If something draws your attention left, look to the right for the real story.
    2. Obama is just the dancing hot dog that’s there to entertain and divert you until the real show starts.
    3. Don’t believe the media about how bad things are. They’ve been lying for years; why would they stop now?
    4. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Be sure you and your family are prepared for whatever might happen.
    5. You are not alone. No matter how much the Oborg tries to convince us otherwise, there are way more than a dozen PUMAs that are worried about America’s future. Hell, there are way more than a dozen countries that are worried about America’s future!
    6. We are Americans. We will come through this, one way or another. That’s what we do.

    • Hey, GG, like American Lassie’s comment, this is worthy of a post on it’s own…Both neatly “rephrase” the implications of all this stuff sans the heavy research to plow through.

      What do you say??

  8. Grail Guardian and Diamond Tiger say “don’t panic”.
    That’s very good advice and I hope everybody takes it. If we panic, we use energy uselessly that we need to fight this scum.

    I’ll never panic. Celtic women don’t panic – they get madder than he##, but they stand their ground and fight the same way the Scots-Irish border people fought to protect their land. I’ll rant and let off steam to keep from blowing a gasket, but I’ll fight to the bitter end and will never let up. This is my land that they are trying to abscound with. My ancestors fought and died for this land and no Johnny-come-lately with no proven roots will take my mind off the real battle. We are still fighting the same Cabal that has been trying to turn the world into their private game room, and we can’t let it happen. Front men come (Obama) and front men go (Jimmy Carter), but the persistent enemy remains the same. The international money Cabal that is determined to gobble up the whole world because they can’t be satisfied with the wealth and power they already have – THEY WANT IT ALL!!!!!

  9. Lee…

    You’ve made….the Lou Dobbs forum, for what that’s worth…

    http://loudobbsradio.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1372&PID=9102

    As for panicking…I’m watching this rally and technical discussion that it may last a few more days…I’m poised to sell somethings at a loss, to get may cash…and then wait in my credit union cds for awhile…

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