February 3, 2017 — Most Americans would agree that the pride, dignity, loyalty and patriotism felt for one’s nation is not exclusive to citizens of the United States of America. As such when the leader of country ‘X’ tells the leader of nation ‘Y’ that the tax payers in country ‘Y’ must pay for something that nation ‘X’ wants that would surely upset the hard-working & proud citizenry in country ‘Y’ — or any other nation for that matter, including country ‘X’. And what does that have to do with the timeshare industry?
So Here’s The Scoop: For openers those who’ve been paying attention to the news this past couple of weeks surely know there is a strong possibility that a commercial (trade/business) war between the United States and Mexico is heating up, and if that happens it could spell havoc when it comes to selling timeshare interests to U.S. citizens vacationing in Mexico.
The initial ruckus, on the surface, is the proposed ‘Great Wall of America’ (GWA) along the 2,000 mile southern border with Mexico and the U.S. President’s guarantee that the citizens of Mexico will pay, excluding the annual maintenance costs, the estimated $10-$15 billion required to build the GWA on the U.S. side of that border.
This pending trade confrontation between friendly neighboring nations started on January 26th 2017 when the recently elected 45th President of the United States fired the first round in a TWEET saying: “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”
From my perspective Isaac Newton’s 3rd law of motion comes to mind: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Mexico’s 57th President, Enrique Peña Nieto, responded in kind that day, TWEETING, “This morning we have informed the White House that I will not attend the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the POTUS”.
Mexico, by the way, a nation of about 124 million citizens, is a very important partner with the U.S., collectively trading about $600 BILLION annually between ‘Los Dos Amigos’. FYI: That’s about 1 MILLION DOLLARS every minute of each and every single day – every year, year after year!
The U.S. President, who fancies himself as the greatest negotiator and deal maker in the world, seemed to have backed himself into a negotiations corner as some people insist that on Friday, January 27, 2017, in response to Mexico’s TWEET he had no choice but to call Mexico’s President & smooth things out.
As of February 1st 2016 there have been multiple reports from various reliable news sources in Mexico and the U.S. suggesting that phone conversation did not go so well but only time will tell what it will lead to and how the GWA and pending trade war may unfold.
However since the TWEETS’ tensions hit the streets throughout Mexico the citizens there have been deeply insulted and are upset that the world’s largest economy and arguably the wealthiest nation on earth, after 240 years since its founding, is now demanding that the people of Mexico pay for something the U.S. wants.
Putting other issues aside for now what greatly concerns me is how all this may affect the approximately 8 million U.S. citizens who vacation in Mexico each year, the estimated 5 million jobs in the U.S. that exist because of trade with Mexico and the 1 million + U.S. citizens who are retired and/or working/living comfortably in Mexico.
In all, that totals about 14 million U.S. citizens who could be affected by a trade war (and the GWA) – not to mention the scores of millions of consumers in the U.S. who purchase ‘stuff’ from Mexico and, of course, vise versa.
Additionally the strain between the two nations may also affect the incomes of timeshare reps selling slices of Paradise in Mexico to U.S. citizens (e.g.) sitting under a beach-side palapa hearing about the virtues of vacation ownership.
Indeed, selling TS in Mexico to U.S. peeps may become as challenging as it was back in late December of 1994 when overnight the Peso was dramatically devalued and for the next few years – as those who worked in Mexico during that era will attest – it quickly became a notch above difficult to convince U.S. citizens to invest a bunch of money & buy a TS plan in a foreign nation confronted by a massive financial crisis.
And then there was that nasty little world-wide recession that was in full swing by 2008 when selling timeshares anywhere in the world including Mexico became extremely challenging as well.
It should be noted that during those two previous crises there were vacationers from the U.S. who traveled to Mexico (and elsewhere) and did buy a timeshare plan and if this trade war happens there will still be those U.S. vacationers who will do so as well.
However, as occurred during the two previous periods of financial chaos the net sales numbers may again tumble like a nose-bleed-drop used as a last ditch closing effort in a timeshare sales presentation.
I suppose if this trade-war really gets rolling the sales ‘instructions’ from developers & management in Mexico will be similar to what the late Charles Humphrey Keating, Jr. (December 4, 1923 – March 31, 2014) once suggested his ‘reps’ do leading up to the massive and crippling S & L financial crisis in the U.S. during the latter part of the 1980’s.
That proposal, in a memo, included the instructions, “And always remember the weak, meek and ignorant are always good targets.”
And speaking of economical chaos and trade wars don’t get me started on another new U.S. policy that could also affect timeshare sales in Mexico (and elsewhere) which was the recent withdrawal by the U.S. from the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership).
The repercussions from that could also be yuuuuuuge and/or big-league; especially considering the two biggest individual trading partners with the U.S. being Canada and Mexico and how they and other nations like Australia, New Zealand and Japan, etc. have publicly stated they now desire to establish a similar trade pact with China to replace the one they had agreed to with the U.S.
So this week here’s a caveat to the thousands of reps, both Nationals and Expats working in Mexico: It would not be foolish to handle this high season and every U.S. sales guest you meet/greet very carefully, as that ‘ride’ may soon come to an abrupt end.
Oh, it also wouldn’t be a bad idea to put a few more pesos aside for that ‘rainy-day’ because los gatos y perros may soon thunder down from above. And who knows, selling vacation plans within the U.S. borders might also become a bit more challenging for the Pilgrims in the ‘Homeland’ so you, too, might want to start stuffing a couple extra greenbacks in the old mattress, you know, just in case.
Actually, now that I’ve had time to ponder the global implications and/or the cause and effect of other new U.S. policies and what they could bring about it might not be such a dense notion for all reps around the world selling TS to U.S. citizens to heed the caveat.
That is of course, unless they believe in that long-standing marketing and selling principle in the Land of Time that says, “Oh well, it’s only time & money – NEXT!”
Good Luck Out There
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