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USTR Kirk: Mexico to Drop Retaliatory Tariffs by Fifty Percent

Washington, D.C. – To resolve the dispute over cross-border trucking between the United States and Mexico, today the U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Mexican Secretary of Communication and Transportation Dionisio Arturo Pérez-Jácome Friscione signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cross-Border Motor Trucking (MOU). U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk then announced that on July 8 Mexico is expected to reduce fifty percent of its retaliatory duties on goods exported from the United States.

“Mexico is the second largest export market for U.S. manufacturers, farmers, ranchers and small businesses. Today, by announcing a cross-border trucking program with the highest safety standards, we have taken the next step towards the complete suspension of the retaliatory duties on more than $2 billion of U.S. goods. This Friday we expect that the Mexico will suspend 50 percent of the tariffs levied against U.S. goods that began in March 2009. It is important to end these tariffs in order to increase U.S. exports and to help companies support the well-paying jobs that allow our workers to pay their bills, raise their families and save for the future.”

The MOU was signed today in Mexico City and is available here.

The agreement on Lifting of Retaliatory Measures signed June 10 by the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Government of Mexico’s Department of the Economy can be viewed here. It provides that Mexico will suspend 50 percent of the retaliatory tariffs within ten days of the signing of the MOU between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Government of Mexico’s Department of Communication and Transportation. Thereafter, Mexico will suspend the remainder of the tariffs within five days of the first Mexican trucking company receiving its authority to operate in the U.S. As a result, Mexican tariffs that now range from five to 25 percent on an array of U.S. products such as apples, certain pork products, and personal care goods will be immediately cut in half and will disappear entirely within a few months when the program is fully implemented.