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Mexico: Public Health, Obesity & NAFTA

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Mexico: Public Health, Obesity & NAFTA


A must read on how México, like many other developing countries is going through a nutrition transition.  Here is the article, by Judy Bankman.

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On The Subject of Safety…

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On The Subject of Safety…


Mexico Cross Border TruckingWhile we’re on the subject of safety, let’s talk about trucking. Yes, trucking… as in those big 18 wheelers, those beautiful horrible monsters of the highway. According to NAFTA, there was supposed to be free-wheeling between Mexico and the United States for ten years already. So why isn’t this happening? If you operate from your gut feeling about this, from what you “know” because you’ve been hearing and reading about it all your life, you’re probably thinking “Well, of course. We have such stringent safety laws in the United States. We can’t allow Mexican trucks in the U.S. because they don’t live up to our standards.”

According to MexicoTrucker.com, you would be so very wrong.

Apparently the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that will be funding our government through September 2009, and was admittedly full of earmarks and pork (the last one, we hope!), carried with it a hidden poison pill for relations between Mexico and the United States. The bill pulled the funding for the Mexican Cross Border Demonstration Program, ending a very successful 18 month program. A program that saw no accidents, no violations and increased profitability for both the US and Mexican trucking companies that participated.

And, as a recent Department of Transportation report warned, pulling the funding ‘will likely result in retaliation from Mexico’.

After reading up on the issue, our only reaction was “Who could blame them?”. Since NAFTA was approved, powers that be within the United States have been finding every reason in the world to block the provision that allows truckers to pass over the border between Mexico and the United States to deliver the goods “freed up” by the NAFTA accord. Mexico has patiently met every objection, jumped through every hoop and continued to play the game even when the United States kept moving the goalposts.

But this time, Mexico said Ya basta! (loose translation: Enough already!)

Mexico will be imposing tariffs of 10% to 20% on many of the goods shipped into Mexico in retaliation. At first we thought that these tariffs would mean that we are going to be paying more for certain goods that we like that are shipped here from the United States. Things like Christmas trees, dates, almonds, pears, cherries, peanuts, onions, juices, soups, mineral water, wine, artists supplies, aftershave, plasticware, blank books, books, yarn, carpets, glassware… the list goes on. The list mostly consists of things that can be purchased from other countries, especially India and China, both trading partners of Mexico.

Mexico is the third largest trading partner of the United States, by the way, behind China and Canada.

So what is this going to mean, besides a higher price for dental floss? It’s going to mean lower sales for companies in the United States… companies already hurting from the economic situation we all find ourselves in today.

There are, of course, many sides to this issue. There is a lot of history here, too. We encourage you to read up on the subject on MexicoTrucker.com, whose writer, Porter Corn, is thoroughly educated and informed on this subject matter.

One thing we have taken away from our research and reading on this subject that we would like you to also understand. Remember that Mexican Cross Border Demonstration Program? The Mexican participants were every bit as safety conscious and had just as good a record as their American counterparts. And statistics prove that this is not an exception. Since 1982 when over 350 Mexican carriers were ‘grandfathered’ into an agreement that allowed them to operate in the United States, Mexican carriers have had a better safety record than American carriers.

So you have to ask, “Who is really being served here?”. We encourage you to read the following articles to find your own answers to that question.

Congress Doesn’t Respect NAFTA

Mexican Trucking Cross Border Program Ends, For Now

Trade Wars Are Stupid…

The List of Items with Retaliatory Tariffs (downloadable PDF)

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