Free Trade Retaliation

Free Trade Retaliation

Free Trade Retaliation. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

The U.S. hopes to defuse a trade dispute with Mexico in retaliation for the decision to scrap a test program that allowed Mexican trucks to use U.S. highways to deliver goods - Mexico will apply tariffs of 10 to 45-percent on at least 90 U.S. products.

HASTINGS: The Mexican government has said we want to work with you but we’re only going to negotiate with the person in charge and that would be former Gov. Gary Locke but he has not been confirmed as Commerce Secretary so we are in limbo right now.

Several Senators - citing safety concerns - cut off funding in the just-enacted omnibus budget bill for the ongoing pilot program that requires goods be transferred to U.S. trucks after 20 miles. Mexico wants unlimited U.S. access under NAFTA - something the Teamsters Union here strongly opposes. Farm Bureau Trade Specialist Rosemarie Watkins says they saw this coming.

WATKINS: We were very concerned that they would retaliate, that this is part of our responsibility under NAFTA that the US government should be able to go forward with the pilot project and would ascertain whether there were safety issues or not.

The tariffs so far include a number of northwest products like cherries and potatoes. We will keep our eyes on this story as it unfolds.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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