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AMI Voices Support of Pilot Trucking Program in Comments to DOT

Monday, May 16, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

AMI voiced its support for a new pilot program for long haul trucking from Mexico in comments submitted last week to the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The comments were filed in response to the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Federal Register Notice, 76 Fed. Reg. 20807-19 (April 13, 2011), Docket Number FMCSA-2011-0097, to initiate a Pilot Program on North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Long-Haul Trucking Provisions.

“As a signatory to the NAFTA agreement, Mexico has emerged as a vital trading partner for the U.S. meat industry,” wrote AMI Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel Mark Dopp.

Dopp noted that in 2010, Mexico was the largest customer for U.S. beef and variety meats, surpassing 247,000 metric tons (23 percent of total U.S. beef exports), as well as importing more than 545,700 metric tons of pork and variety meats (representing over 28 percent of total U.S. pork exports). Mexico also was the largest destination for U.S. poultry at more than 595,000 metric tons.

Dopp said that, in short, implementation of the program will do the following:

·         Terminate the retaliatory tariffs on 99 U.S. products, including an important pork item, valued at $2.4 billion;

·         Bring the United States into conformity with its international trade obligations and re-establish its credibility when insisting that countries adhere to commitments under agreements with the U.S.; 

·         Ensure the safety of U.S. roads through strict requirements on Mexican trucks and truckers; and

·         Allow U.S. pork producers and producers of the other products affected by the retaliatory tariffs to regain their competitive positions and market shares in Mexico and recover the jobs lost because of the decline in exports.

“If, for whatever reason, the United States fails to implement this agreement, U.S. pork producers and other producers are certain to face a continuation of retaliation, with the likelihood of new items added to the retaliation list. Exports will suffer and more jobs will be lost. The pilot program is a sound basis for resolution of this lengthy dispute and AMI strongly supports its implementation,” Dopp concluded.

To view AMI’s comments in their entirety, go to http://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/69234.

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