Fri 6 Jun, 2003 06:23 pm
AFter months of negotiation, a Free Trade Pact between the US and Chile has been signed, and now awaits for the approval of the respective senates.
While Chile is a relatively small country, its economy is open and solid. Chileans have become, by a small margin over Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay, the Latin Americans with the highest per capita income.
Chile has signed Free Trade treaties with several countries in the region, including Canada and Mexico, the other Nafta members.
This may be an important step into the building of a continental trade block.
Well, now Brazil will feel the pressure.
Interestingly in the article someone was quoted as referring to American culture as: "plastic American culture".
I get why that phrase exists. Because of the multitude of franchises and all the plastic signs you get the impression of plastic dominating things in America.
In other countries there is less of an artificial feel to restaurants etc.
Not a knock, I like both in their own way.
I'm glad to see it, although i had reservations about some parts of NAFTA. The more closely the economies of the nations of the Americas become involved with one another, the less likely they will find themselves at odds on international issues.
About finding themselves at odds on international issues:
During the days prior to the US invasion of Iraq, it was said that Chile's reluctance to support the joint US-UK-Spain proposition would be fatal to the Trade Agreement.
We can see now that it wasn't.
That's exactly my point, Boss, when it comes to a question of economic advantage and new markets, diplomacy takes on "a whole nuther meanin'."
I'm hoping this makes things easier for me. I do import/export work for a tech company and South America is the most difficult continent to get anything in and out of. Chile actually was already the easiest one so I'm hoping that this doesn't befuddle things with extra paperwork. As Craven notes, Brazil is the toughest for a variety of reasons.
Speaking of NAFTA, I would like to say that my dealings with Mexico are a royal pain in the patookus because of NAFTA. The regulations are so one-sided that it's nearly impossible to send replacement equipment (they won't take anything 'not new' if it's not just being fixed there and shipped back) and the licenses still required for importation into Mexico are still a customs shakedown.
All right, that was a little off the subject, but it's so rare that a post comes up about trade agreements that I couldn't resist.
Speaking of NAFTA, I would like to say that my dealings with Mexico are a royal pain in the patookus because of NAFTA.
Sugar, I wonder if the Mexican customs regulations are a pain because
of NAFTA or a pain because of Mexican regulations being traditionally complicated.
The general perception here is that NAFTA eased previously existing regulations.
The fact is that we import (and export) much more than we used to before the treaty.
No, it's harder because of NAFTA. The regulations are stricter for the US. One of the purposes of NAFTA was to open the doors for Mexican companies, or US companies with plants in Mexico, to get industry from manufacture and repair of goods. The other side of this is there is also protection built-in so that Mexico does not get second-rate goods from the US.
I can send parts or defective equipment to Mexico as long as it is for repair or manufacturing and ONLY if it is being exported back out of the country after completion - meaning, not for use in Mexico.
This also means that if a server breaks or needs work and they ship it back here for repair, I cannot import it back into the country after it's fixed - Mexico does not accept used goods. I can either have it repaired in country or send them a new $3000 server. Because my company retains title to all of our equipment worldwide, this is a real problem.
The result? I can't send them the parts to fix it because it would be staying there, not exported back to the US, and I can't send them a fixed machine because it's used. Costs us a ton of money. So I have to pay for exportation then pay for new equipment then pay again for importation.
What was it like before Nafta?