Global Briefing: Jan. 27, 2003

A Political Pinata--Full of Farm Products

In a New Year's gift to grocery shoppers on both sides of the Rio Grande, the U.S. and Mexico on Jan. 1 eliminated most of their remaining tariffs on agricultural products, under provisions of the NAFTA accord. But many of Mexico's farmers are trying to stem the flood of heavily subsidized U.S. produce, especially apples, pork and chicken parts. Last month thousands of Mexican protesters threatened to block border crossings, and a few burst into their country's Congress on horseback. U.S. poultry producers, concerned that Mexico will erect such nontariff barriers as additional health inspections...

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