Mexican president Felipe Calderon
Mexican president Felipe Calderon - 
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Doug Krizner: On Monday, Mexican President Felipe Calderon arrives in the U.S. for his first presidential visit. During five days. he'll tour Mexican communities in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and New York. Now this trip won't, however, include a meeting with President Bush.

Calderon is trying to chart a more independent course for the Mexican economy, especially since the U.S. may be headed toward recession. From the Americas Desk at WLRN, Marketplace's Dan Grech reports.

Dan Grech: One school of economics, popular during the Great Depression, calls for spending money on public works during hard times.

President Calderon seems to think hard times are on the way. He recently announced that his government has budgeted $25 billion to build highways, bridges and other infrastructure projects. Calderon said he doesn't want Mexico to have to depend on "the external motor of the U.S. economy."

Enrique Bravo is a Mexico analyst at the Eurasia Group:

Enrique Bravo: The fact that the government has announced counter-cyclical policies and initiatives already shows, you know, a certain degree of concern.

The concern is real. Mexico's Central Bank has cut projections for growth in 2008 by nearly a percentage point.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.