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Meat and Poultry Products Not Included in Mexico’s Retaliatory Tariff Hikes Following Termination of Pilot Trucking Program

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

(American Meat Institute)

Meat and poultry products are not on the list of U.S. products that will be subject to retaliatory tariffs, published by the Mexican government today in the Official Diary.  The list details U.S. products that will be subject to the tariffs because of the recent termination of the NAFTA pilot program to allow Mexican trucks to operate on U.S. roads.

 

Fruits and vegetables, juices, wines and Christmas trees are among the products that will be subjected to the tariff.  Most agricultural products will be assessed punitive import tariffs of 20 percent, while some other goods will be charged duties of up to 40 percent.

 

The duties will take effect on March 19.  Mexico did not specify how long the retaliatory tariffs will remain in place, but said it would reconsider them as soon as the U.S. comes up with a trucking program to replace the pilot program.

 

The U.S. Congress eliminated funding for a pilot cross-border trucking project in the fiscal 2009 omnibus spending bill because of continued concerns about the safety of Mexican trucks.  The Mexican government argues that the trucking program ban puts the United States in violation of NAFTA’s cross-border trucking commitments.

 

After Mexico threatened to slap $2.4 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods over the demise of a pilot cross-border trucking program, President Obama called on Congress to come up with a new pilot program allowing Mexican trucks to continue transporting goods in the United States.

 

The President has asked the Transportation Department to work with the U.S. Trade Representative and State Department – along with Congress and Mexican officials – to come up with legislation creating a new cross-border trucking project.

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