Mexico Planning New Retaliatory Tariffs on U.S. Goods in Trucking Dispute

Mexico will impose additional import tariffs on U.S. goods in retaliation for the U.S. government’s failure to restore a program allowing Mexican trucks to operate north of the border, according to an official at the Economy Ministry.

Mexican Economy Minister Bruno Ferrari plans to  announce a new list of U.S. products subject to tariffs today,sources at the ministry advised MTO. The official declined to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak on the subject. Ferrari said the list will be published this week but refused to give further details. The total value of products tariffed would not exceed $2.5 billion, he said.

Mexico’s embassy in Washington said the revised list will include 99 products. A U.S. industry source said the retaliation is expected to hit U.S. pork.

Mexico’s government has patiently been waiting for the U.S. to propose a resolution to the standoff, which started when the U.S. Congress ended a pilot program last year that allowed Mexican trucks to deliver goods inside the U.S. Tired of the United States broken promises, Mexico responded in March 2009 by putting import tariffs on valued at $2.4 billion.

The United States agreed to open its market to Mexican trucks as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which took effect in 1994, but the U.S. Teamsters union and many of its supporters in Congress have fought implementation of that pledge.

Mexican based carriers have consistently shown an equal or better safety ratings than their US counterparts.

U.S. officials have promised on multiple occasions to take steps to resolve the standoff, and each time reneged. Presiden Barack Obama said in August 2009 he was committed to finding a solution.