Date: Oct 21, 2011

IRVINE, Calif. (Oct. 21, 2011)—Today, Mexico suspended all retaliatory tariffs against the United States in response to the implementation of a July U.S.-Mexico agreement. This ends more than two and a half years of tariffs over a cross-border trucking dispute. It will have a positive impact on the fresh produce industry and level the playing field between the two countries.

“Today’s announcement by the Government of Mexico means the fresh produce industry will no longer be caught in the middle of a dispute that created an economic barrier to trade for our farmers,” said Tom Nassif, president and CEO of Western Growers. “We’re pleased that the two governments have been able to resolve a dispute that restricted access to a critical trading partner.”

These tariffs had ranged from 10 percent to 45 percent on certain fruits, vegetables and nuts shipped to Mexico.

Western Growers has strongly advocated the resolution of this dispute, petitioning Congress and federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative since March 2009, to fully implement U.S. obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement. The fresh produce industry—particularly producers of pears, grapes, onions, lettuce, almonds, strawberries, cherries, apricots and dates—have seen sales to Mexico drop considerably due to the tariffs levied by Mexico on these and other U.S. exports. These tariffs were in retaliation to the U.S. government’s termination of the pilot trucking program.

About Western Growers:

Western Growers is an agricultural trade association whose members from Arizona and California grow, pack and ship 90 percent of the fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in California and 75 percent of those commodities in Arizona. This totals about half of the nation’s fresh produce. Western Growers is headquartered in Irvine, Calif

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