Publications March 2009

Mexico Blocks U.S. Exports in Retaliation of Recent U.S. Decision to Suspend Entry to Mexican Trucks

Mexico raised tariffs 15 to 20% on 90 U.S. different export products as retaliation against a recent U.S. decision to suspend a program allowing entry of Mexican trucks into the United States. The suspension of the program is contrary to a NAFTA arbitral tribunal decision requiring U.S. access to Mexican trucks meeting U.S. safety requirements. Mexico's retaliatory tariffs are designed to block approximately $2.4 billion of exports into Mexico. Products subject to the new higher tariffs include certain types of pastas; wines and other fermented drinks; fruits and vegetables (apricots, cherries, strawberries, potatoes, peas, almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, onions and pears); fruit juice; soy sauce; ice cream; sparkling water; pet food; make-up; shampoo; shaving gel; deodorant; jewelry; china sets; paper and paper products; books and magazines; notebooks; pens; pencils and markers; certain refrigerators; washing machines and driers; coffee makers; cordless telephones; and sunglasses, among several other products.

The U.S. administration is currently in talks with Mexican officials to create a new trucking program that will meet NAFTA rules. Companies and industries affected by the retaliation are organizing to work together and with the governments to reach an agreement that will remove the tariffs. The Curtis International Trade practice, with offices in Washington DC and Mexico City, represents clients and provides guidance in this effort. To know if a certain product is included, or if you need more information or have any questions regarding compliance and interpretation of Mexico's new tariff decree, please call us.

Curtis' International Trade practice provides clients with practical, cost-effective solutions to the trade issues that have become increasingly critical to business operations. Our clients include government entities as well as domestic and non-U.S.-based companies in an array of industries, including food products, consumer products, chemicals, energy and other commodities, and money service businesses. The group is active worldwide, and has particular experience in trade involving the United States, Mexico and Latin America.