This editorial appeared in The (Tacoma) News Tribune. Just what we need; a trade war in the middle of a recession.
Congressional Democrats blundered into that folly earlier this month when they used the recent $410 billion spending bill to bar Mexican trucks from the United States. Mexico has responded by slapping punitive tariffs on $2.4 billion worth of goods from this country – including Washington pears, cherries, apricots and frozen potato products.
This is exactly why economically illiterate protectionists shouldn't be allowed anywhere near American trade policy.
Originally, Mexican cargo had to be unloaded into a warehouse then transferred to a U.S. truck after crossing the border. The requirement was costly, inefficient and insulting. The United States agreed in concept to open its roads to Mexican trucking when it signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994.
The Teamsters union and others did not like the prospect of competition with Mexican truckers. They raised legitimate safety and security issues, and Mexican trucking remained barred from this country as standards were developed.
That done, Congress approved a pilot project under which a group of Mexican carriers would be able to move freight through the United States with a limited number of trucks. But opponents continued to rail about unsafe Mexican trucks on the road, and Congress has now killed the experiment through a provision in the spending bill.
To read the complete editorial, visit The (Tacoma) News Tribune.