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Dairy Groups Support Program to Comply with NAFTA Trucking Agreement

November 3, 2011

NMPF and USDEC hailed the full and complete lifting of retaliatory tariffs by Mexico last month to resolve a lingering cross-border trucking dispute. This action came after the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) implemented a pilot program to allow a selected number of Mexican carriers to operate on the U.S. side of the border under strict safety standards.

“These actions mean that dairy products on Mexico’s retaliation list will now be free of the 20-25% tariffs that were restricting access to our best foreign market,” said Tom Suber, president of USDEC. Mexico’s retaliation against a total of $2.4 billion in U.S. exports had come after successfully challenging the U.S. ban on Mexican trucks that has remained in place, despite a 1994 U.S. commitment under NAFTA to lift it.

The DOT pilot program announced in April provided for a 30-day comment period and another period of approximately 30 days to assess the comments received. Subsequently, DOT published a final Federal Register Notice, which outlined the implementation process for the project. Based on this notice, a final agreement was signed by the U.S. and Mexico, and Mexico immediately reduced its retaliatory tariffs on all products by 50%. Removal of the remaining tariffs only awaited today’s Mexico Federal Register announcing the Mexican President’s action of accepting that the first Mexican carrier as eligible to operate across the border.