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GMA Urges Congress to Fully Implement Cross Border Pilot Trucking Program with Mexico

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today called on Congress to fully implement the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and allow the U.S. Department of Transportation to fully implement its cross border pilot trucking program with Mexico.

“It is imperative that Congress fully implement NAFTA and allow the U.S. Department of Transportation to fully implement its cross border pilot trucking program with Mexico,” said GMA senior vice president and chief government affairs officer Mary Sophos. “Cancellation of the pilot trucking program as part of the 2009 Omnibus Bill has resulted in Mexico’s retaliation in the form of new tariffs including on food, beverage and consumer household goods. These retaliation tariffs will have a significant impact on our industry's ability to continue to gain fair access to the Mexican market. During these tough economic times, the American consumer can hardly afford additional costs from a retaliation effort on behalf of Mexico. We urge Congress and the Administration to fully implement the program and engage Mexico to develop a solution that swiftly resolves this issue.”

The North America Free Trade Agreement has been a success in terms of promoting bilateral trade between the United States and Mexico. From 1993 to 2007, total U.S.-Mexico trade has quadrupled, from $81 billion to $347 billion. Today, Mexico is our third largest trading partner after Canada and China.

Mexico is a top export market for many U.S. businesses and manufacturers, but especially so for the food and beverage industry. Mexico is the top export destination for U.S. beef, dairy, poultry, rice, soybean meal and oil, corn sweeteners, cotton, apples and dry edible beans. It is also a major market for corn, soybeans, eggs, vegetable oils, fresh U.S. potatoes, snack foods and other consumer-oriented agricultural goods.