Tuesday, March 17, 2009

USA Falls Victim to International Tribunal

On Monday Mexico said it would raise tariffs on over $2.4 billion worth of US imports, specifically targeting industrial and agricultural goods.

Mexican officials say the increases are due to America's refusal to let Mexican trucks continue into the US. The US Congress killed a pilot program that was instituted under President GW Bush that allowed a limited number of Mexican trucks to enter the country because continuing or increasing the program would be detrimental to the millions of Americans employed in the US trucking industry.

In 2001, the International Tribunal created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) gave permission to the Mexican government to violate the terms of the agreement and tariff US imports. Until now Mexico has held off.

By signing free trade agreements like NAFTA, the federal government has passed sovereignty of its trade policies to international bodies who do not have the interests of the United States in mind, to say the least.

It's becoming more evident that America's free trade agreements are anything but. Time and again countries like Mexico and China are allowed to violate the rules. Meanwhile, American manufacturers and agriculture producers are being squeezed out by their illegal subsidise and tariffs.

It's time the so called "free traders" admit their policies are utter failures and return to sound trade policy that ensures fair and open trade with all.

"[T]hat we could afford...to follow those professional counselors who have confined themselves to study in the closet; for the actual working of the tariff has emphatically contradicted their theories. Protection, which guards and develops our industries, is a cardinal policy of the Republican Party. The measure of protection should always at least equal the difference in the cost of production at home and abroad."
- President Teddy Roosevelt

"If we continue to let our trade policy be dictated by special interests, then American workers will continue to be undermined, and public support for robust trade will continue to erode. That might make sense to the Washington lobbyists... but it won’t help our nation compete. Allowing subsidized and unfairly traded products to flood our markets is not free trade."
- President Barack H. Obama

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