Mexico slaps 5% tariff on U.S. pork products

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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MEXICO CITY – In the latest chapter of a long-running dispute over Mexican truckers' access to U.S. highways, Mexico’s trade officials put tariffs on U.S. pork products on Aug. 18 to apply pressure on the U.S. according to Reuters. An updated list of U.S. products subject to tariffs was published by Mexico, which included a 5% tariff on U.S. ham and other pork products.

A spokesman for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (U.S.M.E.F.) told MEATPOULTRY.com that Philip Seng, the organization’s president and c.e.o., told his members: “U.S.M.E.F. is very disappointed in this development. Mexico has been a tremendous growth market for U.S. pork, setting an all-time record in 2009 and likely headed for another record this year. But now consumers in Mexico and pork producers in the U.S. are both going to pay a price for a dispute that is certainly not of their making. The tariffs are an unnecessary barrier that interferes with free trade and offers no benefits to anyone.”

In 2009, the Mexican government became enraged when U.S. lawmakers canceled funding for a pilot program begun under U.S. President George W. Bush allowing long-haul Mexican trucks to travel in the U.S. The U.S. agreed to open its market to Mexican trucks under the North American Free-Trade Agreement (N.A.F.T.A.), which took effect in 1994.

Mexico charged the U.S. was not living up to its commitment and retaliated by imposing duties on a substantial list of U.S. exports, including fruit and vegetables among other products.

In Mexico’s latest action, several other agricultural and food items were given 20% tariffs on Aug. 18, including cheeses, oranges, grapefruits, chewing gums and ketchup. Sweet corn received a 15% tariff.
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