Just a Little Protectionism? Then Comes the Escalation

By March 17, 2009Trade

From Reuters, “Mexico slaps tariffs on U.S. goods in truck feud“:

MEXICO CITY/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mexico slapped tariffs on 90 American agricultural and manufactured exports on Monday in retaliation for Washington’s move to block Mexican trucks from using U.S. highways.

Mexican Economy Minister Gerardo Ruiz said about $2.4 billion worth of exports from 40 U.S. states would be affected and that his government would soon publish a list of them.

Last week, the U.S. Congress canceled funding for a test program begun by the Bush administration that allowed Mexican long-haul trucks to circulate in the United States in compliance with the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“We consider this action by the United States to be mistaken, protectionist and clearly in violation of (NAFTA),” Ruiz told reporters in Mexico City.


In related news, Brazil’s president issues a warning, “Lula Urges Nations to Avoid ‘Drug’ of Protectionism“:

March 16 (Bloomberg) — Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said countries seeking to help their economies weather the global slump must avoid turning to protectionist policies.

“Protectionism is a drug that provides temporary relief, but in the end leads to major crisis,” Lula told investors in New York today.

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