U.S. pork exporters are criticizing an expected move by the Mexican government to include pork with many other products from the U.S. on which it will be imposing tariffs. According to Meatingplace, the tariffs are in retaliation for a cross-border trucking dispute.
The Mexican government is also frustrated that the pilot program under the North American Free Trade Agreement–which allowed a limited number of Mexican freight trucks on American highways–has not been renewed.
“Mexico’s retaliation against U.S. pork will have negative economic consequences for America’s pork producers,” National Pork Producers Council President Sam Carney said in a news release shortly after Mexico’s announcement. “We are extremely disappointed that our top volume export market has taken this action, but we’re more disappointed that the United States is not living up to its trade obligations.”
Subsequent analysis revealed that the impact to American pork farmers will not be as dramatic as first thought since a ‘moderate’ tarrif of 5 percent was set on U.S. pork by Mexico.
“Mexico is an important U.S. export market and President Obama understands the economic pain that these tariffs cause for American farmers, companies, and workers,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
“Following President Obama’s direction, Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and I have worked with other agencies and stakeholders in Congress seeking to resolve this issue in a way that addresses safety concerns and upholds our trade obligations,” Kirk continued. “We are committed to continuing to work with Members of Congress and our counterparts in Mexico to resolve the dispute and end these duties.”
The 2001 ruling of a NAFTA dispute settlement panel stated that excluding Mexican trucks violated U.S. obligations under the agreement. This ruling allowed Mexico to retaliate, and in 2009 the country did so after Congress did not renew the Cross-Border Trucking Pilot Program.
Although Mexico initially put tariffs on 89 U.S. products, on Monday, Mexico announced the country would be adding 10 more products.
According to the National Pork Producers Council, Mexico bought $762 million worth of U.S. pork last year.