Friday, April 10, 2009

Great name for a new Bravo TV show... Trade Wars

It could run right after the Real Housewives of Orange County.

From the WSJ:

Mr. Obama acquiesced in Congress's unilateral rewriting of Nafta earlier this year, despite warnings of potential retaliation. Well, last month Mexico responded with a 20% tariff on select U.S. products, including pears, cherries, apricots and Christmas trees. The Capital Press agriculture Web site reports that pear exports to Mexico have already "ground to a halt" as importers stop buying them because of the cost and uncertainty. That's a potential annual loss of $50 million to $60 million in U.S. pear exports alone. "If we have that 20% tariff and Argentina enters the market, it could hurt our ability to ship fruit the rest of the season," said Jeff Correa, of the Pear Bureau Northwest.

That's how trade wars work. A tariff imposed to please a powerful domestic constituency leads to retaliation that whacks innocent bystanders who lack the ear of the White House or Speaker of the House. In this case, a payoff to the Teamsters stuffed in a spending bill has now become a hardship for the farm growers and workers of Oregon. We elect Presidents to stop this kind of economic damage, not to promote it.

Amateurs running the show.

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