This editorial appeared in The Tri-City Herald.
Protectionism backfires every time.
It's an economic strategy that won't work in a global economy, and yet nations around the world can't seem to resist it – especially as a retaliatory measure.
One of the latest examples is the new tariff Mexico recently slapped on fruit and potato products entering its borders from the United States.
Mexican officials are angry over the halting of a pilot program that allowed some of their trucks to transport goods in the United States.
They called the U.S. decision protectionism and a violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In retaliation, they imposed the new tariff on pears, cherries, apricots and potatoes.
The Obama administration responded to the tariffs by saying U.S. officials will work with Congress to come up with a new trucking program. But no timeline was given.
Something needs to be worked out in a hurry. It's too late for the remaining pear market, but so far cherries and apricots have been saved because they aren't in season yet.
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