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Mexico Launches Plan to Stimulate US Border Economy  

FILE - Workers check screens at an LG flat screen TV assembly plant in Reynosa, Mexico, across from McAllen, Texas, March 23, 2017. On Jan. 5, 2019, it was announced that Mexican business and labor leaders had agreed to double the minimum wage along the border.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has launched an ambitious plan to stimulate economic activity on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border despite recent U.S. threats to close the border entirely.

Mexico plans to slash income and corporate taxes to 20 percent from 30 percent for 43 municipalities in six states just south of the U.S., while halving to 8 percent the value-added tax in the region.

Business leaders and union representatives have also agreed to double the minimum wage along the border, to 176.2 pesos a day, the equivalent of $9.07 at current exchange rates.

Lopez Obrador says the idea is to stimulate wage and job growth via fiscal incentives and productivity gains.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly complained that low wages in Mexico lure jobs from the U.S.