Food for Thought: Import Restrictions Make It Harder to Rock

FEE : As I sit here waiting for my new guitar to arrive from Canada (an Eastwood replica of the Teisco TG-64), delayed by four to six weeks due to import restrictions on rosewood, it’s hard not to wonder at the sheer illogic of many of America’s trade laws. It’s not that they don’t sound reasonable on paper, but in practice, trade barriers present a nightmare of bureaucracy that harms consumers and businesses alike, while doing very little to actually accomplish their stated goals.

If you want to carry a guitar made of protected wood across national borders, you need to obtain 3 permits.

The rules in question fall under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a lengthy treaty designed to protect certain plant and animal products that may be in danger of destruction. Sounds like a noble goal, sure, but the impact on industries and individuals is far more cumbersome than you might imagine.

As I’m being personally inconvenienced at present, let’s talk about the treaty’s impact on the guitar industry.

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