Mexico adds pork to trade retaliation list

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WASHINGTON — The National Pork Producers Council today expressed its strong disappointment with the U.S. and Mexican governments’ actions related to allowing Mexican trucks into the United States.

Mexico added pork to the list of U.S. products against which it is retaliating for the failure of the United States to live up to its obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement to let Mexican trucks haul goods into the United States Aug. 16.

The U.S. Congress in early March 2009 failed to renew a pilot program that allowed a limited number of Mexican trucks to haul freight into United States beyond a 25-mile commercial zone.

The Cross-Border Trucking Pilot Program was started by the U.S. Department of Transportation in September 2007 as a way to begin implementing the NAFTA trucking provision, which was supposed to take effect in December 1995. In February 2001, a NAFTA dispute-settlement panel ruled that excluding Mexican trucks violated U.S. obligations under the trade deal.

The ruling gave Mexico the right to retaliate against U.S. products, which it did in March 2009, placing higher tariffs on more than $2.4 billion of U.S. goods.

Pork was not included on that initial retaliation list.

NPPC has been urging the Obama administration to work with Congress to quickly resolve the trucking issue with Mexico, which last year bought $762 million of U.S. pork.

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