Obama Pressured to Let Mexican Truckers Through

Large coalition wants dispute settled.

In spite of a North American Free Trade Agreement provision, currently Mexican trucks aren't being allowed to enter the United States to transport goods. A coalition of more than 140 businesses, manufacturers, food and agricultural organizations has sent a letter requesting resolution of the dispute to President Barrack Obama.

In February 2001 a dispute settlement panel ruled that the United States wasn't living up to its obligations under NAFTA by excluding Mexican trucks. Mexico has raised tariffs on a number of U.S. products in retaliation.

"We need to get this trucking issue resolved," said National Pork Producers Council President Don Butler, "Although U.S. pork products were not included on the retaliation list, they could be in the future, and, more importantly, our trading partners need assurance that the United States will live up its trade obligations."

Mexico is a top market for U.S. exports, providing millions of jobs to U.S. workers. The retaliation is already impacting the ability of a broad range of U.S. goods to compete in the Mexican market, from potatoes and sunscreen to paper and dishwashers. According to the letter, the retaliation measures have the potential to shut out the targeted U.S. products providing an opportunity for foreign competitors to fill that void and establish themselves as the significant suppliers to Mexico. More than 12,000 agricultural and 14,000 manufacturing jobs are at risk as over $1.5 billion in U.S. manufactured products and $900 million in U.S. agriculture products are impacted by the retaliatory tariffs.

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