Monday, December 22, 2008

One More Quick Item

An increase in the duty on cars imported into Russia has caused violent protests. Here is the New York Time story. Forget about all the academic arguments over whether high tariffs are good or bad for the local economy. I'm interested in that bust can't possibly sort it out in a blog post. I'm not, after all, a Nobel laureate with a New York Times column. No, I am just a customs lawyers.

What I do think is interesting is the comparison to the U.S. market. What do you think would have to happen to get Americans to take to the streets to protest an increase in customs duties? The U.S. has basically banned some forms of caviar, made so-called "conflict diamonds" contraband, and maintains high rates of duty on fancy foreign shoes. So, I surmise it is not luxury items that would cause a riot.

I posit that an increase in the effective rate of duty on Red Stripe, Corona, and Pilsner Urquell would cause an uproar among the pretentious young intellectual crowd. Keep in mind, I write this while sitting in this T-shirt. I think that makes me an over-the-hill pretentious intellectual wannabe.

For me, if this stuff lost its NAFTA status, I'd consider moving to Mexico.

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