While NAFTA may still exist on paper, in practice it appears to be quite dead. Let me illustrate: we recently bought a laser-printer at Office Depot in Merida, made by Hewlett-Packard. Weeks later we went back to buy toner. Not in stock. So we went to the HP store nearby. Nope. That package not available in Mexico. So I looked online at Office Depot for Mexico. The package is listed as toner negro #30a, but not available at any of our branches in Mexico. So I went to Amazon Mexico. No. But Amazon US has plenty that CANNOT BE SHIPPED TO MEXICO.
This is not an isolated instance. I’ve put much effort into searching for items that can’t cross this so-called FREE TRADE boundary. (This is the second copier – first was an Epson – that has been rendered useless due to “protected” supplies.) And it isn’t just Amazon. I’ve seen similar situations regarding cross-border provisions with WW Grainger.
So, what gives? Is the buying public being gouged by commercial interests? In November, friends booked seats on a new route from Miami to Merida with American Airlines, but they were greatly inconvenienced when the entire route was cancelled without notice. It certainly appears that “market forces” are favoring BIG CAPITAL over consumers somewhere in this picture, rather than honoring a treaty between the people of three nations. (OK, I just checked Amazon Canada, and they won’t ship this item to Mexico, either.)
UPDATE: Solved! Although the firm’s website said there wasn’t a single package of toner for this machine in any of its branches in Mexico, a store employee found one for me at the main branch right here in Merida. It was the only one on hand, so of course we drove there immediately. Sometimes information can be stranger than fiction. (I asked the branch staff to replace the one I bought, so there is hope I can get another in the future!)
Upon my second visit to the branch where I bought the copier, the cosmic purchasing agent sourced toner for me in a way which is too complex for words. I’m deeply grateful!