Don’t underestimate Mexico’s economic influence on the USA

March 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm Leave a comment

I know that Americans think we live in a first-world nation, and Mexico is a third-world nation, so my title may seem laughable at first… but reality shows a different story.

To begin with, the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, is Mexican.  The rankings may fluctuate, but he is definitely up there with Bill Gates and the owner of Ikea.  The NY Times, the nation’s newspaper of record, just got bought by him.

You like your cheap food and goods?  Thank Mexico for that also.  Mexicans are an indispensable part of our economy.  Now they may add to our economic woes by showing exactly how important they are.

IN JANUARY Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderón, became the only foreign leader to meet Barack Obama between his election and his inauguration. Their long lunch was a success. Mr Obama said afterwards that he would be “ready on day one to build a stronger relationship with Mexico.”Just two months later, the honeymoon has soured somewhat. Mr Calderón has taken to lambasting American officials for allowing the illegal drug trade between the two countries to flourish, and to criticising the American media’s coverage of Mexico’s drug-related violence. Now a provision inserted into the Omnibus Appropriations Bill signed into law by Mr Obama has scrapped a pilot programme that allowed a small number of Mexican trucking companies to carry cargoes north of the border—as NAFTA requires.

Mexico’s response was swift. On March 18th it imposed tariffs of up to 45% on 90 American agricultural and industrial imports, ranging from strawberries and wine to cordless telephones. The list was carefully chosen to avoid pushing up prices of staples in Mexico while hitting goods that are important exports for a range of American states. That way, it could have maximum political effect north of the border.

via Mexico, NAFTA and protectionist pressures | Don’t keep on trucking | The Economist.

I think that Americans need to stop with the “we are almighty and don’t need anyone else” mentality.  Everyday more and more of America is being owned by foreigners… we don’t even own the wars we fight anymore.

This gets more interesting.  The Teamsters tried to use “good ol’ American” quality as an argument to keep Mexican truckers out of the US, in violation of NAFTA.

An American court rejected these arguments. So did a NAFTA dispute-settlement panel, which ruled in 2001 that the United States was violating the agreement and gave Mexico the right to impose retaliatory tariffs. Mexico chose not to do so, to give the United States a chance to honour its commitment. The Bush administration tried, but was thwarted when Congress approved a measure setting 22 new safety standards for Mexican trucks.

To try to break this stalemate in 2007 the Bush administration set up the pilot programme, under which trucks from 100 transport firms in each country were allowed to cross the border. Opponents in Congress slipped a provision delaying this into an unrelated bill. This was hailed by James P. Hoffa (son of Jimmy), the Teamsters’ president, as a victory in “the battle to keep our borders closed”. But the pilot scheme eventually went ahead.

The Teamsters’ safety argument looks spurious. Mexican transport firms have invested in new trucks and trained their drivers to meet the safety requirements under the pilot scheme. A study commissioned by America’s Department of Transportation, which tracked Mexican trucks operating north of the border in the first year of the programme, found that these trucks clocked up far fewer safety violations than their American counterparts.

The Teamsters’ victory means that most Mexican goods going north will continue to have to be unloaded at the border, reloaded for the short hop across it, then loaded again onto an American truck. This amounts to what Mexicans call a “trucking tax”. And since the short-haul lorries tend to be older gas-guzzlers, it is environmentally unfriendly, points out Barbara Kotschwar, a trade specialist at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. No such restrictions apply to Canadian lorries.

The last line is interesting because of the underlying racism built into these laws.  But not only is the status quo unfair, and a “victory” for the Teamsters, we all will end up suffering the consequences as a result of the environmental impact it is having.

Free trade?  You have evidence that Mexican truckers are just as good, or even better than American truckers, and still the best does not always win…

Advertisements

Entry filed under: The Future. Tags: , , , .

Dead Sea Scrolls – fact or fiction? Religion, medicine and evading death

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Pages

Twitter Updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

RSS Democracy Now!

  • Trump Picks DAPL Lobbyist to Oversee EPA Water Safety in Same Week He Rolls Back Water Safeguards
    As President Donald Trump announced this week that the Environmental Protection Agency will roll back an Obama policy that environmentalists say safeguards drinking water for one in three Americans, The Intercept reports that the person Trump has tapped to be the EPA's water safety official is a former lobbyist with deep ties to a fossil fuel advocacy g […]
    mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
  • Republicans Have Trifecta Control of 25 States & Need 6 More to Call for a Constitutional Convention
    Historian Nancy MacLean says much of the radical right's agenda is being pursued at the state level. Republicans already have "trifecta control" in 25 states—control of the governor's seat and both chambers of their legislative bodies—compared to six states for Democrats. "The ultimate Big Bang of this project is that they want to ch […]
    mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
  • Historian: Republican Push to Replace Obamacare Reflects Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
    As Republicans attempt to revive a bill to overturn Obamacare, we look at the radical right's attempt to reshape the role of the federal government—from healthcare to education to housing. We speak with Duke University historian Nancy MacLean, author of the new book, "Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan fo […]
    mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
  • Headlines for June 29, 2017
    Senate GOP Leaders Scramble to Save Healthcare Bill Amid Revolt, Protesters Flood Senate Offices in "Last Stand" on Healthcare, Parts of Trump Travel Ban Set to Take Effect, NATO to Send More Troops to Afghanistan, Lawyer Who Authored Torture Memos Grilled at Confirmation Hearing, CNN Reporters Resign After Network Withdraws Report on Trump Adviser […]
    mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
  • Brazilian President Michel Temer Charged with Corruption, a Year After He Backed Ouster of Rousseff
    In Brazil, President Michel Temer has been formally charged with corruption, a year after he backed the ouster of President Dilma Rousseff from office. Federal prosecutors accuse Temer of taking millions of dollars in bribes. Prosecutor Rodrigo Janot said Temer has "fooled Brazilian citizens." Temer, who rejected the allegations, is the country […]
    mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
  • D.C. Police Accused of Using "Rape as Punishment" Targeting Some Arrested During Trump Inauguration
    A shocking lawsuit accuses the Washington, D.C., police of using sexual abuse as a form of punishment targeting people arrested during protests against President Donald Trump's inauguration. A complaint by four plaintiffs charges officers stripped them, grabbed their genitalia and inserted fingers into their anuses while other officers laughed. We speak […]
    mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
  • Stamped from the Beginning: Ibram X. Kendi on the History of Racist Ideas in U.S.
    With police killings dominating the headlines, our first guest, historian Ibram X. Kendi, discusses his recent book, "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America," which traces the origins of racist ideas in the U.S. The author examines the impact of historically racist policies on existing racial disparities. His […]
    mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
  • "America is on Trial": Historian Ibram X. Kendi on the Failure to Convict Cops Who Kill Black People
    As three Chicago police officers face charges for covering up the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, we will look at the cases of Philando Castile, Sam DuBose and Sylville Smith—three black men killed by police officers. In recent weeks, two of the officers were acquitted; one had a mistrial. Our first guest writes, "[I]t is not just police […]
    mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
  • Headlines for June 28, 2017
    Republican Leaders Postpone Healthcare Vote After Revolt from Own Party, Pro-Trump Group Attacks Heller over His Opposition to Healthcare Plan, Sen. Elizabeth Warren Issues Support for Single-Payer Healthcare System, White House Issues More Claims About Assad's Alleged Plans for Chemical Weapons Attack, U.S.-Led Airstrikes Reportedly Kill 40+ Civilians […]
    mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
  • Dahlia Lithwick: Justice Neil Gorsuch Proving to Be "Far to the Right" of Antonin Scalia
    Supreme Court reporter Dahlia Lithwick examines the new make-up of the court and the rumors that Justice Anthony Kennedy might resign. Neil Gorsuch joined the court in April to replace the late Antonin Scalia. So far, Gorsuch has been in lockstep with Clarence Thomas. According to Lithwick, Gorsuch is proving to be "far to the right" of Scalia.
    mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)

RSS Science Blogs

  • Comments of the Week #164: From black holes to moons with moons of their own [Starts With A Bang]
    “There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” -Ray Goforth We’ve really investigated some amazing scientific stories this week here at Starts With A Bang! There’s always so much to consider, think…
    Ethan
  • The Oldest Human Bones, Jebel Irhoud, Morocco [Greg Laden's Blog]
    You’ve heard to story. I’m here to give you a little context. But in case you haven’t heard the story, this is from the press release which is, so far, the only information generally available: New finds of fossils and stone tools from the archaeological site of Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, push back the origins of…
    Greg Laden
  • Comments of the Week #163: from the edge of the Universe to the Milky Way’s demise [Starts With A Bang]
    “Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.” -Marquis de Lafayette There’s so much science to talk about in any given week here at Starts With A Bang! It’s sometimes hard to choose, but one particular topic stole the show this past week: black holes. Sure, we took on other things, too, but we didn’t even…
    Ethan
  • Various comments and current news [Greg Laden's Blog]
    For some reason, Facebook is not posting reliably and I will not abide writing paragraphs that the Internet sucks into oblivion! So, I have a few thoughts I’ll put here and try to link to. Rebecca Otto for Governor Let’s start with Rebecca Otto, who just gave a great talk at the DFL (that’s what…
    Greg Laden
  • Swedish Academia Is No Meritocracy [Aardvarchaeology]
    After almost 14 mostly dismal years on the academic job market, I find it a consolation to read an opinion piece in Times Higher Education under the headline “Swedish Academia Is No Meritocracy“. In my experience this is also true for Denmark, Norway and Finland. In Norway, for instance, the referee board that evaluates job…
    Martin R
  • We’ll always have Paris [Greg Laden's Blog]
    If you are upset about Trump and upset about Trump pulling the US out of the Paris agreement, please let me help you get through the day. Trump announcing that the US is pulling out of Paris does not mean the end of Paris, the end of action on climate change, or much else about…
    Greg Laden
  • Improving endurance exercise [Life Lines]
    We all know that aerobic exercise is good for us because it helps improve muscle function and our ability to move well. For fish, aerobic exercise helps animals escape predators, catch prey as well as improve reproduction success. When we exercise, our muscles adapt by altering the metabolism of energy, the way calcium is handled as…
    Dr. Dolittle
  • Comments of the Week #162: from singularity evaporation to the loss of Earth’s helium [Starts With A Bang]
    “The ability to listen and learn is key to mastering the art of communication. If you don’t use your verbal skills and networking, it will disappear rapidly.” -Rick Pitino It’s been a week full of amazing and controversial stories about the Universe here at Starts With A Bang! Did you catch the fantastic live event on Wednesday at…
    Ethan
  • Using fish skin to treat burn victims [Life Lines]
    Researchers in Brazil are testing a new way to treat burn victims. They have found that tilapia skin is rich in collagen which helps the damaged skin heal better than standard wound dressings and eliminates the need to wait for donor tissue. Check out these videos from YouTube describing this radical new idea in burn…
    Dr. Dolittle
  • Seven Stories Of Science Gone Wrong [Greg Laden's Blog]
    What, with all the attacks on science and scientist these days, we may not want to be focusing on those times when science goes off the rails and makes a huge mess of things. But, science at its best and scientists at their best, will never shy away from such things. Dr. Paul Offit just…
    Greg Laden

RSS AZ Daily Star

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

%d bloggers like this: