Upon arrival to the Santiago International Airport, tourists must pay a USD$140 ‘reciprocity fee’ to enter the country. This one time fee lasts the length of your passport. This steep fee is an exacted revenge on American tourists for the expensive entry fee that foreigners must pay to enter the United States. South America employs this ‘taste of your own medicine’ policy to prove a point. So much for eye for an eye leaving the whole world blind.
In Argentina you must also pay an entry reciprocity fee. The fee lasts for 10 years, and within those 10 years you may reenter the country as often as you please. While USD$140 may not seem particularly steep, imagine an Argentine paying USD$140 to enter the states. USD$140 comes out to about $550 pesos. If a family of four wanted to travel to the States, this entry fee is expensive enough to make many families choose another vacation spot.
I guess policies against foreigners don’t seem so bad until you are the foreigner. I do not understand why the States demands this fee of foreigners. To discourage tourism? To encourage illegal border crossing? In my opinion border entry fees are a policy that we could go without. And from what I have heard, South American countries only have these fees because the US has them, so logically if the US were to eliminate the fees, so would other countries. Lets lead by example then!
What do you think? Am I missing something obvious?