Trade Deficit for May 2012 - $48.7 Billion

The U.S. May 2012 monthly trade deficit declined $1.91 billion to $48.68 billion. This is a 3.78% monthly decrease in the trade deficit, all due to reduced imports. Exports decreased $359 million, or -0.20%. Imports declined $1.55 billion, which is a -0.67% decrease from April. The decline in oil prices is the reason the trade deficit shrank for the month.


Obama Signs Deal to Allow Mexican Truckers Onto U.S. Highways

In yet another blow to U.S. workers, the Obama administration has signed a deal for Mexican truckers to operate inside the United States.

The news headlines all sing hallelujah over some soon to be disappearing punitive tariffs Mexico put on 99 U.S. products simply because we wouldn't let Mexican truckers, instead of American ones, on U.S. highways. There is no mention in the major press of the cost to American workers, the increased illegal drugs entering the country, the illegal immigrants being smuggled into the U.S., and the wages and jobs lost. Nor is there anything mentioned about border security in the press, or even challenging Mexico for being in violation of NAFTA by their attempts to subvert U.S. labor law in the first place.

The teamsters have been fighting this tooth and nail and just came out swinging. Mexican truckers have lax safety standards and much lower wages, yet will be allowed to work in the United States, by driving on American roads, displacing U.S. truckers.

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today castigated the U.S. Department of Transportation for agreeing to open the border to long-haul Mexican trucks. Opening the border endangers America’s highway safety, border security and warehouse and trucking jobs.

Mexican Business Pleads With Government to Stop the Drug Violence

Mexican Businesses ran full page newspaper ads pleading with Mexico President Felipe Calderón to stop the drug violence that has now hit their business capital, Monterrey. That's desperate.

A surge of drug violence in Mexico's business capital and richest city has prompted an outcry from business leaders who on Wednesday took out full-page ads asking President Felipe Calderón to send in more soldiers to stem the violence.

The growing violence in Monterrey, long one of Mexico's most modern and safe cities, is a sign that the country's war against drug gangs is spreading ever further from poorer battlegrounds along the border and into the country's wealthiest enclaves.

Residents opened their newspapers Wednesday morning to find the ads taken out by Mexican business leaders, begging the government to send more military into the city. "Enough already," said the notice that ran in national and local papers, criticizing what it said was a slow response of police against "criminal bands that in every act look to establish a new boundary of terror."

Nearly 23,000 people have died in Mexico as a result of drug violence since 2006. Mexico is as dangerous as Iraq or Afghanistan.

Vampire Economics?

This story caught my eye. The New York Times outlines how each blood donation, paid out at $30 a pop, generates $300 in pharmaceutical products.

Blood donation centers concentrate in extremely poor areas, with high health issues including drug addiction.

So, get this, Mexicans are crossing the border twice a week to donate blood, to earn $60 a week. It's more money than what they can make on wages in Mexico!

Twice a week, Ms. Delgado, the mother of three young girls, walks across the bridge from Piedras Negras, Mexico, where she lives, to Eagle Pass and enters a building just two blocks from the border.

Inside, for about an hour, Ms. Delgado lies hooked to a machine that extracts plasma, the liquid part of the blood, from a vein in her arm. The $60 a week she is paid almost equals her husband’s earnings.

“This is like another income,” she says.

A New Kind of Illegal Alien - Mexico's Middle Class and Financial Elite

Look who is border hopping now. It's not your typical cheap labor, literally referred to as cargo by illegal employers and smugglers, but instead Mexico's middle class and well to do are taking that desert stroll:

As a drug war rages throughout Mexico and along its northern border, an increasing number of Mexicans are crossing into the United States to flee the killings, extortion and kidnappings that have plagued places like Juárez and Tijuana.

The escalating war near America's southern border is driving embattled Mexicans to seek safety in the United States. What if the tide of violence follows them?

Just How Intensely Do Other Countries Demand U.S. Jobs? - Mexico Does Tariffs When Denied

When is the United States going to make it clear, once and for all, U.S. jobs and workers are not for trade?

Because Congress finally stopped Mexican trucks from entering the United States, which obviously would labor arbitrage U.S. truckers in addition to security and safety issues, Mexico is retailiating by tariffs.

Mexico slapped tariffs on 90 American agricultural and manufactured exports on Monday in retaliation for Washington's move to block Mexican trucks from using U.S. highways.

Mexican Economy Minister Gerardo Ruiz said about $2.4 billion worth of exports from 40 U.S. states would be affected and that his government would soon publish a list of them.

Trouble at the Mexican Border

Normally I wouldn't post something on border security but this story is shocking. The violence, corruption and drug cartels are now so out of control in Mexico, analysts are saying, not only is Mexico one of the world's security threats but Mexico itself might collapse.

The prospect that America's southern neighbor could melt into lawlessness provides an unexpected challenge to Barack Obama's new government. In its latest report anticipating possible global security risks, the U.S. Joint Forces Command lumps Mexico and Pakistan together as being at risk of a "rapid and sudden collapse."

"The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels," the command said in the report published Nov. 25