3/17/09

Can we spell "Smoot-Hawley"?

Mexico slaps punitive tariffs on US goods:

Mexico retaliates with tariffs on US products

Excerpt:

Mexico said Monday it will increase tariffs on about 90 U.S. products in retaliation for last week's decision to end a pilot program that allowed some Mexican trucks to transport goods in the United States.

Economy Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Mateos said the U.S. decision violates a provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement that was supposed to have opened cross-border trucking by January 2000.

"We consider this U.S. action to be wrong, protectionist and a clear violation of the treaty," Ruiz Mateos told reporters. "By deciding to protect their trucking industry, they have decided to affect other countries and the region."


Previously posted:

Smoot-Hawley

Malarkey gets grief

Walmart's gonna love this. So are all those Walmart shoppers.

The burr under the saddle here has to do with safety. That's a good thing to be concerned about. I had some misgivings about a bunch of trucks from Mexico running the NAFTA highway myself, way back when.

But there is this:

"No trade agreement should obligate us to compromise our highway safety," said Sen. Byron Dorgon, a North Dakota Democrat.

But Ruiz Mateos said the Mexican trucks crossing the border are safe:

"The argument was that the trucks did not comply with their safety rules, despite the fact that during the pilot program there were more than 46,000 crossings without any significant incidents," Ruiz Mateos said. "The Mexican trucks even exceeded the U.S. safety standards in some cases."

Brady said that another 800 Mexican trucks have been shipping throughout the U.S. since the 1990s with safety records equivalent to U.S. trucks. The trucks were grandfathered in when NAFTA was signed.


So what's the deal? Are the trucks safe, or not? There should be documentation of truck inspections. We see the Colorado State Patrol doing truck inspections all the time. That's one of the things CSP does to keep the highways safe.

So where's the documentation from the various state and Federal agencies showing the safety 'issues'? That's all it would take to tell Mateos to pound sand.