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Mexican Trade Retaliation Threatens US Jobs

March 16, 2009

Agriculture, Manufacturing to Bear Brunt

Washington D.C. – Ways & Means Committee Ranking Member DaveCamp (R-MI) and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX),issued the following statement today after Mexico announced that itwill retaliate against U.S. exports after Congress eliminated thetrucking pilot program:

Mr. Camp stated, “While many view the truck pilot program as flawed,we now face retaliation for eliminating it.  Left unresolved, oureconomy and American jobs will suffer the consequences of losing thisvital market for many of our exports.  At this stage, theAdministration must develop a better trucking program that not onlyassures the safety of our highways but also eliminates the newpenalties our exports will face.  I stand ready to work with thePresident to accomplish these goals.”

Mr. Brady went on to say, “Because Congress has terminated the pilotprogram in violation of our NAFTA obligations, Mexico has announcedthat it will retaliate against us, as it is entitled to do, byincreasing duties on $2.4 billion of U.S. exports of key commoditieslike wheat, beans, beef, and rice.  Such retaliation makes these U.S.products significantly less competitive and could close the Mexicanmarket to many of our exports.  I urge the Administration to workquickly to develop a stronger and more rigorous program that willprotect our highways and avoid exposing our farmers, ranchers, andmanufacturers to significant collateral damage through retaliation. Such an approach would address safety concerns without erecting tradebarriers that allow Mexico to retaliate against us and create drasticconsequences for our exporters.  If the Administration fails to developsuch a program and we continue to disregard our obligations, we arepunishing our farmers, ranchers, businesses and workers at a time whenour economy is in great distress.”