Reuters, “US to announce Mexico trucking plan soon-LaHood“:
WASHINGTON, May 6 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s adminstration will soon announce its plan to reopen the U.S. border to Mexican trucks and end a dispute that prompted Mexico to slap duties last year on $2.4 billion worth of U.S. goods, a top U.S. official said on Thursday.
“President Obama’s team has worked very hard to put a proposal together. We will be announcing it very soon,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told lawmakers.
Truckinginfo.com has a more detailed report, including the pressure put on LaHood by Sen. Patty Murrray (D-WA); Washington state’s fruit growers have suffered a major hit to their sales from Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs. From “LaHood: Announcement on Mexico Truck Proposal Is ‘Closer Than Soon'”:
“Back in March, I urged you and the administration to move quickly to craft a plan to resume cross-border trucking with Mexico in a way that would address the safety concerns raised during the pilot and end the tariffs imposed by the Mexican government,” Murray said during Thursday’s hearing.
Murray wanted to make sure the proposal was really near this time around, interrupting LaHood with, “Sooner than soon?” He responded saying, “It is closer than soon.”
A NAFTA dispute panel found that the United States violated the North American Free Trade Agreement when it failed to implement a cross-border trucking program meant to ease the movement of products between Mexico and the United States. Mexico responded in March 2009 by announcing $2.4 billion of tariffs affecting products, Reuters reported, including sunglasses, toilet paper, pet food, ornaments, soy sauce, Christmas trees and produce such as strawberries, pears and onions.
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