Trade Dispute Could Cause Jobs To Be Lost

US - Today (10 March) marks the first anniversary of an ongoing trade dispute with Mexico that continues to put US jobs at risk says the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA)
calendar icon 10 March 2010
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Mexico is the top export destination for US beef, dairy, poultry, rice, soybean meal and oil, corn sweeteners, cotton, apples and dry edible beans.

The US exported a record $1.4 billion in beef and beef variety meats to Mexico in 2008, and a total of $910 million in 2009 (as a result of the economic crisis). Mexico is also a major market for pork, corn, soybeans, eggs, vegetable oils, fresh US potatoes, snack foods and other consumer-oriented agricultural goods. Trucks move more than 70 per cent of the value of US-Mexico trade.

The dispute began when Congress terminated funding for the US-Mexico cross-border trucking pilot programme in the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act - a move which failed to meet US commitments under NAFTA, and prompted Mexico to impose damaging retaliatory tariffs on US agriculture and manufacturing goods.

“This dispute has been going on for far too long,” said Steve Foglesong, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “It’s time for the Administration to take action before the critical relationship with our top trading partner is further compromised, putting agriculture exports and imports, and American jobs, at risk.”

Although Congress addressed the issue by removing the prohibition on the trucking programme within FY10 appropriations, the Administration has yet to make progress with Mexico in removing the tariffs. The US Chamber of Commerce estimates as many as 25,000.US jobs could be lost as a result of the impasse.

“Escalating trade retaliations hurt everyone,” Mr Foglesong continued. “We live in a global society and our economy is inextricably linked to our ability to do commerce with key trading partners like Mexico.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

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