WASHINGTON – Numerous organizations and businesses, including the American Meat Institute (A.M.I.), sent an open letter to President Barack Obama and members of Congress emphasizing the importance of the United States’ trade relationship with Mexico and urged further strengthening of the successful partnership.

“Increasing exports is the wise and proper approach to reducing our current account deficit, but it can only be done by deepening – not abandoning – our successful North American partnership with Canada and Mexico and by establishing similar relationships with other countries around the world,” the letter states.

A quick resolution to the ongoing trucking dispute between the two nations would be an important first step, the letter states. Mexico has said it will levy tariffs of 10% to 20% on specific goods in retaliation for the recent shutdown by Congress of a pilot program that allowed some Mexican truckers to operate on U.S. highways.

“When N.A.F.T.A. (the North American Free-Trade Agreement) was negotiated, it was agreed that the borders of the three countries would be open to trucks as long as they complied with all regulations applicable in the country of destination,” the letter states. “Solving this issue would decrease freight costs and delivery times in North America, but more importantly, it would improve our relationship with Mexico and would promote the integration between our nations.”

The organizations also urge continued support for Mexico’s war on drugs, particularly for fighting money laundering and the North-South arms trade.

“Certainly, there are many other areas in which we can find common ground, and we urge you to work to strengthen the economic ties between Mexico and the United States and to make stronger our N.A.F.T.A. partnership with Mexico and Canada,” the letter concludes.

To read a copy of the entire letter, clickhere.