Cross-border solution sought

Nine New York congressional representatives have asked President Obama to resolve the trade dispute with Mexico after it imposed new tariffs on apple exports to Mexico.

Democrat Reps. Michael Arcuri, Scott Murphy, Maurice Hinchey, Bill Owens, Dan Maffei, Paul Tonko, John Hall and Louise Slaughter, along with Republican Rep. Chris Lee made the request after apples were added to a list of retaliatory tariffs, according to the New York Apple Association

Mexico recently added tariffs of 20 percent to 25 percent on U.S. apples and certain cheese varieties in attempt to force a resumption of a cross-border trucking program

Jose Luis Paz Vega, who heads the North American Free Trade Agreement office at the Mexican embassy, spoke at a National Foreign Trade Council luncheon, according to an Oct.15 article in the Journal of Commerce. Mexico will not accept anything less than a permanent cross-border trucking program with the United States, he said.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, and some other members of Congress have demanded an end to the dispute in response to complaints from constituents, such as farmers, hurt by the tariffs. Still, federal officials have said little in recent months about a cross-border plan to replace a pilot program Congress ended in March 2009.