Guest blogger, Drew DeBerry, Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture
The Lone Star State exports billions of dollars each year worth of food, fiber and other goods across its borders to countries that depend on these Texas-made products.
That's why I'm disappointed to learn that the Mexican government has now renewed significant tariffs on roughly 100 U.S. agricultural and manufactured products. These unnecessary tariffs affect up to $2.6 billion worth of U.S. goods, including Texas agricultural products such as pork, cheese, sweet corn and grapefruit.
Mexico enacted these taxes to retaliate against the U.S. after federal officials halted the implementation of a cross-border trucking agreement that was signed in NAFTA in the mid-90's.
In March 2009, Commissioner Staples wrote a letter to President Obama requesting he quickly find a resolution to the NAFTA issue in order to prevent Mexico from imposing steep tariffs on Texas products. Commissioner Staples received a response from U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk stating a compromise policy was being proposed that would meet the requirements of the NAFTA agreement. It appears Mexico got tired of waiting.
But the real issue is about safe and affordable food. United States consumers enjoy the safest, most affordable food supply in the world. Why is it that the Mexican government is so insistent on depriving its people of that bounty?