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  • Leading Trade Experts Side with Mexico

    Heritage Fellow James E. Roberts has been one of the earliest and most vocal trade experts urging the reinstatement and expansion of the Mexico Trucking program.  The pilot program, intended to ensure American compliance with the North American Free Trade Agreement, was recently ended by Congress and President Obama because of the poison pill provision slipped into the Omnibus Spending bill.  As a result of this action, the government of Mexico retaliated by placing tariffs on nearly 90 U.S. products worth an estimated $2.4 billion.

    Yesterday, at an international trade symposium in Miami, many other experts in the field joined Roberts in saying a return of the program was necessary and Mexico was in the right to retaliate.

    Several leading trade experts support Mexico’s trade retaliation against the United States for violating the North American free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Last week, Mexico announced that it would slap tariffs of 10 percent to 45 percent on at least 90 U.S. products after U.S. lawmakers stopped a pilot program that had been in place since April 2007 allowing a select number of Mexican trucks free access to the United States after passing safety tests.

    “Mexico’s retaliation was only surprising in that they were so patient taking so long,” Gary Hufbauer, the Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said today during a meeting in Miami organized by the law firm Hughes Hubbard. “This has gone on since 1994.”

    Kenneth Pierce, a Hughes Hubbard partner specializing in international trade issues, agrees. “The Mexicans are right,” he said during the meeting. “They won the NAFTA case,” he said referring to a NAFTA arbitration panel that in 2001 ruled that a U.S. delay of allowing the trucks in was illegal.

    NAFTA called for the United States to permit Mexican trucks first in the border states in December 1995 and then throughout the country in January 2000. But due to opposition by U.S. unions and their backers on Capital Hill, the move was repeatedly delayed. “We have denied them their greatest advantage to the U.S.,” said Hufbauer, who has written several books on NAFTA. “It does hurt Mexico in terms of proximity to U.S.”

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Leading Trade Experts Side with Mexico

    1. Mike Rossiter, NJ says:

      As a truck driver I have a very personal stake in this issue. Since there is a huge disparity in pay rates for drivers between the two countries, I can envision trucking companies moving to Mexico and using "cheap" labor to deliver goods throughout the entire US. That would, of course, destroy my current means of making a living. My fears could be put to rest if it were mandated that as soon as a truck enters from Mexico the driver thereof would be paid at a rate which would be, at a MINIMUM, equal to the median pay of the top 10 companies in the US. This would serve to discourage a mass move south of the border and make a huge impact on the income of the Mexican drivers. Win Win right? Any other plan would leave the American driver, whether union or otherwise, at a disadvantage.

    2. Thomas Peterson, Chi says:

      Well, SINCE MOST TRUCKERS VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS OR THERE MONEY SUPPORT THERE UNION, THEN I HAVE NO PITTY FOR THEM. You get what you vote for. Let those mexican trucks roll.

    3. norma frantz virgi says:

      This is America and our road rules are different than Mexicos let their trucks bring it to the border and unload into our trucks to disperse in America, that also will help stem the flow of illegal drugs packaged as other items

    4. Jamey, Central Calif says:

      With Mexico's stance on the international criminals it teaches its citizens to become, I seriously have to take pause on siding with them on trucks and NAFTA. If they got serious about illegal immigration, then let the trucks roll. I have my doubts as to the sincerity of your article. It seems someone has a vested interest in trucking business in Mexico to unilaterally "forget" the strangle hold on our economy illegals have had, and continue to have, to give them a total pass. I guess we just have to be bigger men and forget their transgressions, but give them the farm when they ask. How liberal. I guess we need change. Bad article with little depth of thought from Heritage. I'm disappointed.

    5. Leslie, Ft. Recovery says:

      As a small business owner of a trucking company, who always votes conservative, I have to say that NAFTA was never a good idea, because these Mexican trucks do not need to meet the same standards, rules, or regulations as American trucks. Half of these trucks do not even have insurance. These Mexican drivers do not have to possess CDL's as we do in America. Wake up people, if we were comparing apples to apples it would be one thing, but Mexican trucks don't even compare to our apples.

    6. Terri from Ok says:

      To Jayme and Mike:

      What is needed here is consistent and principled thought. Under law and policy, we opened the roads to Mexican and Canadian transport companies. If the deal was not "fair" in pay or if it was breached in spirit and fact with a significant, provable smuggling component, of course there is recourse to take. But those issues and consequences must be dealt with head-on, with proof and a reasoned response to the factual situation.

      But that did not happen. Instead, populist, protectionist rhetoric is rightly offending a trading partner.

      Again, if our "partner" has policies to our detriment, from immigration to kidnapping to falsifying food safety documents, then we must deal with these issues directly. That tack requires honest diplomacy backed by the will to act.

      Clear thought and naming the wrong(s) is the first step to a healthy and respectful relationship. Otherwise we are winking at stinking corruption…. THAT always has gotten USA into trouble.

    7. Robert Davis Arcade says:

      If there were any real Unions (Unions that were interested in workers) they would be at the border and every Mexican driver would be a union member when he drove back across the border. Union bosses are only interested in how much money they can make. Much like many in Congres.

    8. RANDY WEIGEL says:

      OBVIOUSLY NONE OF YOU NUMBSKULL WASHINGTON POLITICIONS & LOBBIEST HAVE TO LIVE DOWN HERE ON THE BORDER WITH THE DANGER OF ILLEGAL UNMAINTAINED MEXICAN TRUCKS BARRELING DOWN THE HIGHWAY….NO INSURANCE,NO SAFETY INSPECTION,NO ALCOHOL/DRUG TESTS FOR DRIVERS FROM WHERE THERE ARE "NO" D.U.I. LAWS WHAT SO EVER! & DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF SOMETHING IS THE NORM! THEY DON'T HAVE TO MAINTAIN A DRIVERS LOG BOOK….NOT TO MENTION WE DON'T EVEN KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE OPERATORS!!!! NOT EVEN THE MOST BASIC BACKGROUND CHECKS…. DUHHH!!! TALK ABOUT AN NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE!!!! CAN YOU SAY ALQUIDA!!!OR HAMAS!!! IF AN ARAB/MIDEASTENER DOESN'T OPEN HIS/HER MOUTH ONLY THE VERY BEST TRAINED EYE AND/OR LINGUIST CAN TELL TMEM FROM A MEXICAN NATIONAL….NOT TO MENTION MANY ARABS SPEAK VERY GOOD SPANISH!!!WE HAVE WITNESSED THIS FIRST HAND HERE ALONG THE MEXICAN BORDER FOR MANY YEARS PRIOR TO 9/11….

      HERE WE ALL THOUGHT THE NATIONAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION AND THE CATO INSTITUTE WHERE HERE TO PROTECT AMERICA & HER VALUES!!!AS IT TURNS OUT THEY'RE NO DIFFERANT THAN EVRYONE ELSE IN WASHINGTON…POLITICSAS USUAL….WHO THE HECK CAN WE TRUST???THIS ANSWERE CAN BE FOUND IN SCRIPTURES…TRUST YE' NOT IN THE ARM OF FLESH…. IT IS VERY EVIDENT THE PEOPLE CAN ONLY TRUST IN THE GOD OF ISRAEL….BECAUSE EVEN THOSE WHO CLAIM TO STAND AS SENTINELS FOR TRUTH & LIBERTY AGAINST TYRANY & ENEMIES OF TRUTH,FREEDOM,& LIBERTY HAVE THEIR OWN POLITICAL INTERESTS BEFORE THE INTERESTS OF THE NATION!!!WOLVES IN SHEEPS CLOTHING….

      RANDY WEIGEL

    9. Ron, Noblesville, IN says:

      Sounds like the same guys voting for this are the same ones that voted to give away Billions of Dollars before they read what needed read before they voted….Gee, now that's a novel thought…

      Read before voting…Holy shit I bet no one thought of that !

    10. Pingback: As Appleton Paper Ponders More Layoffs, Kagen Backs Teamsters

    11. Jerry Ellison says:

      The problem stems from both NAFTA and CAFTA and the fact that all three countries are economically unequal. Regardless the stated goals of such agreements, they can't be fair and equitable to all parties unless, as the man said, their apples and ours are comparable. In a utopian world of the future, that would work well. However, we aren't equal and the eventual result of these agreements can only be the lowering of our standards and the growth of theirs until they are truly comparable. Utopia can take a long time. In the mean time, WE will be the ones suffering this inequity. If we can ever get a national government to listen to WE THE PEOPLE, then perhaps we can get them to end these agreements until such a time they can be made fair and equitable.

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