Dairy (mostly) escapes Mexican trade retaliation

March 24, 2009 07:00 PM
            U.S. dairy exports to Mexico are largely unscathed in the list of products Mexico has imposed tariffs on for the U.S. failure to live up to its NAFTA treaty obligations.
            The tariffs were imposed last week after a trade panel ruled the United States had not lived up to its prior agreement to allow Mexican trucks to operate within its borders. Only one dairy tariff line was affected, says Margaret Speich, spokesperson for the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC).
            The tariff was imposed on a type of food preparation that has some dairy content, she says. But the product only accounted for about $16 million of U.S. exports to Mexico last year, and $8 million in 2007. The U.S. exported $854 million of dairy products to Mexico in 2007.
            "The Mexicans have cautioned, however, that they have the right to revise their retaliation list…,” says Speich. "So although the immediate impact for U.S. dairy exports is slight, USDEC remains strongly engaged in trying to help work with the [Obama] Administration and interested members of Congress to resolve this.”

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