Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is urging the Obama administration to work to solve a U.S.-Mexican trucking trade dispute that’s hurting Washington state produce shipments to Mexico.
In the fiscal 2011 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill, Murray added language that calls on the administration to develop a plan that would end retaliatory tariffs on Washington farm products.
“I am extremely frustrated that the administration has not yet acted while farmers across my home state of Washington continue to suffer under Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs,” she said in a news release.
“I am urging both the Obama administration and the Mexican government to solve this issue and allow Washington state farmers to compete on a level playing field. Since there has been inaction for too long, I included specific language in the transportation spending bill giving the administration a clear deadline of Oct. 1 to solve this problem.”
The senator said the tariffs, which Mexico slapped on U.S. products after a cross-border trucking dispute, have devastated Washington’s farmers.
Instituted in March of 2009, the tariffs have targeted 87 Washington-grown products such as apples and potatoes and have cost the state hundreds of jobs, the senator said in the release.
The tariffs have also harmed U.S. sales of lettuce, strawberries, pears, apricots, dates and onions.
In February, a coalition of industry advocates urged the Department of Transportation and U.S. Trade Representative to solve the issue.
Murray heads the transportation, housing and urban development appropriations committee.
The bill heads to the Senate floor next.