By Vicki Needham - 10/21/11 08:05 PM EDT
The United States and Mexico negotiated a pilot program in April to allow entry of Mexican trucks to comply with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) obligations, and the first license was granted on Oct. 14, leading to the change in Mexico's policy.
"The tariffs could not have been lifted without the well-designed trucking pilot program that Presidents Obama and Calderon agreed to in April, which successfully balances safety and trade," Camp said. "Without that program, Mexico would be free to reimpose the retaliation, so it is essential that the program continue to move forward successfully.”
Mexican tariffs had ranged from 5 to 25 percent on American products, said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
“Mexico is a valuable market for U.S. manufacturers, farmers, ranchers and small businesses," he said. "By suspending these retaliatory tariffs, Americans will be better able to compete in the Mexican market, which will result in increased U.S. exports and more well-paying jobs here at home.”
House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said the United States can now begin recovering the export market share that "lost under the weight of Mexico’s $2.4 billion in annual border taxes.”
The announcement comes on the heels of the president signing three trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea earlier Friday.
"Coincidentally, today also marked the resolution of a cross-border trucking dispute with Mexico ending retaliatory tariffs that have harmed billions of dollars of sales to that important market since 2009," said Patrick Kilbride, senior director, Americas, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"Let’s hope today’s good news is the beginning of a new era in U.S. trade policy, one where the United States is again the world’s leader in opening markets and the engine for global economic growth."