Mexico, U.S. strike deal to reduce tariffs in trucking dispute - The Packer

Mexico, U.S. strike deal to reduce tariffs in trucking dispute

07/06/2011 12:41:00 PM
Chris Koger

A newly inked agreement to resolve the cross border trucking issue between the U.S. and Mexico will immediately remove half of the retaliatory duties Mexico has applied to $2.4 billion worth of U.S. exports, including multiple fresh produce commodities.

Government and industry leaders praised the long-anticipated agreement. U.S. and Mexican officials said in January they were committed to resolving the dispute.

“This is good news and it should help sales,” said Mark Powers, vice president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, Yakima, Wash.

“Today’s agreement between the United States and Mexico means the fresh produce industry will no longer be caught in the middle of a dispute that created an economic barrier to trade for our farmers,” Tom Nassif, president of Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers said in a statement. “We look forward to its full implementation later this summer.”  

Mexico is the largest export market for U.S. apples and Nancy Foster, president of the Vienna, Va.-based U.S. Apple Association, said the immediate reduction in tariffs from 20% to 10% should boost apple exports.

“The stars are aligned for a robust start to harvest with this occurring,” Foster said.

When the retaliatory tariffs were first implemented, grapes sent to Mexico faced a 45% tariff. That dropped to 20%  in August. In 2009, according to the California Table Grape Commission, exports to Mexico dropped almost 73%, to a value of $16 million.

“Mexico has been a vital market for California’s fresh grape industry and it was important to get this issue resolved as soon as possible,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the commission, in a news release. “This was a complex trade issue and California’s fresh grape industry was hurt as a result.”

Mexico first enacted the tariffs in spring of 2009, not long after the U.S. ended a pilot program that had allowed Mexican truck drivers to operate in the U.S. The trucking dispute dates back to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, which promised cross-border access when the deal was approved. Delays tied to environmental concerns and union opposition eventually led Mexico to seek retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods and was authorized to do so by a NAFTA dispute settlement panel.

To ratchet up pressure on the U.S., Mexico in August imposed a 20% tariff on apples, apricots, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, pears, strawberries, oranges, onions and sweet corn. Those tariff levels will be cut in half by July 8, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.


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Julio Reano    
California  |  July, 06, 2011 at 02:42 PM

We are in the salad dressings manufacturing business.Are we also included in this 10 5 reduction? Thank You

TOMMY SPIVEY    
NORTH CAROLINA  |  July, 06, 2011 at 03:42 PM

THIS SOUNDS GREAT FOR THE SHIPPERS MOVING PRODUCT INTO MEXICO. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE AMERICAN TRUCKING INDUSTRY. TODAY WE ARE ALREADY HAVING PROBLEMS EVERY DAY WITH CANADIAN CARRIERS PICKING UP AND DELIVERING OUR LOADS IN THE U.S.A. CHEAPER THAN WE CAN HAUL THEM. NOW WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO COMPETE WITH MEXICAN TRUCKING COMPANIES....THAT DON'T HAVE TO CARRY THE SAME INSURANCE WE US COMPANIES....DO.....LIB, CARGO, WORK MANS COMP, HEALTH INSURANCE, ETC. JUST TO LIST A FEW DOES THE AMERICAN CARRIERS GET TO RUN INTO MEXICO ???

Len    
South Carolina  |  July, 07, 2011 at 09:15 AM

I agree with Spivey & Banks.

John Savoy    
Louisiana  |  July, 06, 2011 at 04:48 PM

Are we to give Mexico every thing?They have already flooded our job market.They will haul our frieght too cheap for American truckers to compete.As a 30 year trucker I can truly say this.Now as a farmer I have to compete with cheap produce,hauled for pennys on the dollar. I truly believe America should keep the tarrif,Apples can be sold from here without going through Mexico.The tarrif may return some of our tax dollars spent daily on illegals coming here.

Ftorres    
guanajuato  |  July, 12, 2011 at 05:06 PM

Get ready my friends, eficencys are eficencys, people that is looking for a reason to get out of the busness, this is good one, this is a free trade agreement...GET READY FOR US...... big joint ventures bettwen mexican and US companies will be made and small truck companies will be swep out...... be ready

John Oliver    
Nogales Az  |  July, 06, 2011 at 11:20 PM

Hispanic drivers pick up loads in Nogales bound for La and Bay Area for next to nothing bring down the going rate These drivers are just a front to being legitamate and not really in the Produce Trucking Business Enough is enough with the illegal alien problem here in the Southwest

REV RICHARD ANDRESKI    
MARYLAND  |  July, 07, 2011 at 06:04 AM

DEAR SIR: THE PROBLEM IN THE U.S.A. IS NOT THE TRUCKERS BUT THE TRUCKER'S UNIONS. YOU ARE HAVING TO PAY THEM A LOT OF MONEY AND THEY ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FOR THE MONEY. THANK GOD FOR THE MEXICAN DRIVERS --- THEY DON'T HAVE NOR DO THEY NEED FAULTY UNIONS. AMEN MY FRIEND.

cy    
FL  |  July, 07, 2011 at 07:48 AM

Our families will be on the same roads as these Mexican truckers. We bow down to MX pressure over $2billion? This diplomatic disaster demonstrates our lack of resolve. We have become pathetic. America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln

j.w. banks    
southcarolina  |  July, 07, 2011 at 08:23 AM

OK AMERICAN TRUCKERS hears another way for the gov. to put us out of business.Higher insurance lower freight rates bring on the mexicans we need more of them.Sent their freight checks to mexico so they dont have to pay any taxes.So get ready. Bend over.

Iam Concerned    
Georgia  |  July, 07, 2011 at 10:27 AM

ALL AMERICANS SHOULD BE DISTURBED, VERY DISTURBED BY THIS. WHAT A SHAME, THAT NOT ENOUGH AMERICANS HAVE THE BACK BONE TO STAND UP AND SAY "DAMN IT, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH". IT IS TIME WE TOOK OUR COUNTRY BACK!

dustin tyler    
fort myers fl  |  July, 12, 2011 at 06:04 PM

im telling you this is a dame shame in 27 i been trucking sense i was 18 i run 2 trucks and we hall produce out of florid its only a matter of time befor we start feeling this bs hold on yall thought it is bad now just yall wait

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