The Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association and the Teamsters union want the Obama administration to challenge Mexico for imposing more retaliatory tariffs.
In March 2009, Mexico placed tariffs on 89 U.S. products in response to the United States discontinuing its cross-border trucking program. The Obama staff has said it is working on restarting the program.
On Aug. 16, Mexico increased to 99 the number of U.S. products with retaliatory tariffs and is expected to issue a complete list later this week, said Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative.
“Following President Obama’s direction, Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and I have worked with other agencies and stakeholders in Congress seeking to resolve this issue in a way that addresses safety concerns and upholds our trade obligations,” Kirk said. “We are committed to continuing to work with members of Congress and our counterparts in Mexico to resolve the dispute and end these duties.”
OOIDA’s Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said it is up to Mexico to raise safety, security and environmental standards for its trucking industry. The U.S. should not be “blackmailed into lowering our standards,” he said.
“If the U.S. trade representative had called out Mexico for their illegal tariffs more than a year ago, we would not be in this situation,” he said.