Pubdate: Sat, 26 Aug 2000
Source: Cincinnati Post (OH)
Copyright: 2000 The Cincinnati Post


While it has some merit, Vicente Fox's proposed open border between Mexico
and the United States also raises a number of difficult questions, and is
unlikely to become a reality anytime soon.

But another of his ideas - ending the U.S. drug certification program - is
right on target and should win the support of everyone the Mexican
president-elect visits with on his U.S. visit, including President Clinton,
Vice President Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

Under this statutory program, the United States can restrict trade and take
other punitive measures if our govern ment concludes that certain foreign
governments are failing to do enough to curtail the smuggling of drugs. The
program accomplishes nothing, of course. It is also an arrogant slap in the
face of affected countries.

Imagine how the United States would feel if Mexico held the upper hand in
trade and announced a policy stating that, if the United States did not do
more to stem the de mand for drugs among its population, Mexico would exact
sanctions. After all, the U.S. demand has a corrupting influence on Mexican
society, and Mexicans have as much to complain about as the United States

Fox's election last month marked the emergence of Mexico as a true
democracy. He deserves support from a U.S. government that has every reason
to want him to succeed. To build a strong, mature relationship with a
democratically invigorated Mexico, the United States must treat that land
and its representatives with more respect than in the past.
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