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Pig — out

15 December 2010

Who is hurt by the U.S. ban on Mexican cross-border trucking? Iowa farmers among others. Sam Carney, President of the National Pork Producers Council writes in Iowa Farmer Today, via Mexico Trucker:

U.S. pork exports to Mexico are falling, and it’s not because Mexicans have lost their taste for pork.

Since August, the price of getting U.S pork into the Mexican market has increased because of a tariff Mexico slapped on it, retribution for the United States failing to live up to a trade obligation.

That duty makes U.S. pork more expensive for Mexicans to buy compared with, say, Canadian pork, which enters Mexico at a zero tariff rate.

In fact, from August to September, U.S. pork exports going south of the border fell 20 percent while Canada’s increased 49 percent.

So, U.S. pork producers, who earlier this year emerged from more than two years of losses, and the producers of dozens of other products are suffering because of a dispute between the United States and Mexico over trucks.

THE MEXICAN government placed tariffs on 99 U.S. products, including a 5-percent duty on many pork products, such as unprocessed hams, and a 20 percent tariff on pork rinds, in retaliation for the United States’ decision to prohibit Mexican trucks from entering America.

Allowing Mexican trucks into the United States has been a subject of debate almost since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the U.S., Mexico and Canada was signed by leaders of those countries in late 1992.

NAFTA includes a provision that opens the borders between the countries to trucks so long as the vehicles comply with all regulations applicable in the country of destination.

Unfortunately, just days before the NAFTA trucking provision with Mexico was to become effective in December 1995, the United States requested an indefinite postponement of it.

Then, after years of delay, Mexico sought to resolve the trucking issue, taking its case to a NAFTA dispute-settlement panel.

In February 2001, the panel ruled the exclusion of Mexican trucks violated U.S. obligations under NAFTA.

The ruling gave Mexico the right to retaliate against U.S. products entering Mexico.

… Mexico has safety protocols for its truckers comparable to ones for U.S. truckers, including drug and alcohol testing as part of the licensing process and random drug testing.

Mexican trucks that were allowed into the United States under the 2007 pilot program were held to the same safety standards as U.S. trucks and were examined and cleared by U.S. inspectors. Additionally, GPS systems would be installed in Mexican trucks that enter the United States to enforce hours-of-service standards.

CRITICISMS ALSO ring hollow given that since 1995 many Mexican trucks have traveled through the United States on their way to Canada, and several Mexican trucking companies have had U.S. permits for cross-border trucking since the 1980s.

In the current global economic climate, the United States must promote trade, not turn inward and erect obstacles to it. Resolving this issue would strengthen the United States’ relationship with one of its most-important trading partners, and it would prove to the world that America stands for free and fair trade — and abides by the agreements it signs.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Tio Foncho permalink
    15 December 2010 11:36 am

    It seems to me the poor Mexican families that struggle to put food on the table are the ones that are hurt. The tariff money Mexico places on the pork goes into Mexico’s Treasury and is passed-on to the population in higher pork prices. But you are really raising the wrong issue. The real question you should be asking is: “Why does Mexico, with a population of 110 million, have to import pork at all?” Why is Mexico not an exporter of pork? Why does Mexico have to import its other staple, corn?

    When you understand the answer to that question, you will understand why Mexico is a failure.

    By the way, it is always good to check your figures. While pork exports to Mexico are down, total US port exports for the first three quarters of 2010 are up 2% over 2009 in tonnage, and up 9% in dollar value. So tell us again who is getting hurt here.

  2. Bear permalink
    15 December 2010 6:57 pm

    The Mexican people have been hurt in a lot of ways by a lot of different people and the good old US just adds to that list by not living up to it’s treaty obligations. The US will honor commitments as long as it is convenient and it rarely is. Ask the Indians.

  3. Cindy permalink
    16 December 2010 6:15 am

    PORK should be banned in EVERY country! It is so bad for human consumption. Pigs have parasites that can be passed onto humans especially when not cooked thoroughly.

  4. El Chismoso permalink
    16 December 2010 10:44 am

    WTF….. Cindy, I love my chicharonnes !!!

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