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posted 2009-03-16
Trucking dispute raises import duties on US exports
Last week the US Congress canceled the 2009 funds for the Mexico-US cross-border trucking project; as a result, Mexico intends to impose retaliatory duties on US exports of several industrial and agricultural products.


US-Mex dispute ends up raising import duties

March 18, 2009. 21:35

Since the establishment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the U.S. transportation labor unions have opposed the phase-in of the land transportation provisions of the Treaty. It was supposed to allow Mexican trucks to enter the Border States beginning in December 1995, and eventually roll on the entire U.S. highways in 2000. But the federal government, dominated by the labor unions demands, has kept the border closed to Mexican trucks due to a myriad of highway safety, environmental and competition concerns that remain unresolved.

In September 2007, the U.S. Congress, in partnership with the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), created the cross-border trucking demonstration project which was intended to run until 2010. This Act allowed a pilot program to determine whether Mexican trucks affect adversely the motor carrier safety, and if the Federal and state monitoring and enforcement activities are sufficient to ensure that the Mexican carriers comply with all applicable laws and regulations. The first year input was limited. From an expected participation of 100 Mexican carriers, only 29 were admitted to the project. In sum, only 118 of a projected 540 trucks have participated.

On March 11th the U.S. Congress canceled the 2009 funds for the Mexico-US cross-border trucking demonstration program; as a result, the Mexican government decided to impose retaliatory duties on U.S. exports of several industrial and agricultural products. The aim of this measure is to spark off the irritation of the U.S. export industries, and consequently put pressure on the U.S. government and Congress to honor the NAFTA obligations.

The criteria used by the Mexican government were:
1.-That the products come from as much U.S. states as possible (about 40 states); and that their exports to Mexico represent a significant share of their total world exports.
2.-That the products affected do not impact the manufacturing supply of the Mexican industry.
3.-That the chosen products were not included in the basic necessities of the Mexican citizens.

Some of the products affected are: fruits, juices, sauces, pet food, mineral water, wine, beauty products, paper, notebooks, synthetic yarn, locks, cordless phones, sunglasses, furniture, markers, etc.

The international trade statistics and U.S. tariff data reported for 2008 by the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) show that the trade of these goods represented an estimated of US$1.9 billion dollars in exports to Mexico. The total U.S. goods exports to Mexico were US$151 billion dollars in 2008.
NOTE: See the image alongside.

The Mexican Ministry of Economy decision is applicable starting on March 19, 2009. Roughly ninety formerly exempted U.S. originating products are now facing import duties of 10% to 45% of their value. This means that the NAFTA benefits have vanished for the products listed in the Mexican Official Gazette.

The complete list of U.S.-made products now facing import duties are:


0604.91.02 Christmas Trees 20%
0703.10.01 Onions 10%
0705.11.01 Cabbage lettuce 10%
0802.12.01 Almonds without shells 20%
0804.10.01 Fresh dates 20%
0804.10.99 Other dates 20%
0806.10.01 Fresh grapes 45%
0808.20.01 Pears 20%
0809.10.01 Apricots 20%
0809.20.01 Cherries 20%
0810.10.01 Strawberries 20%
0813.50.01 Mixtures of dried fruits 20%
1902.19.99 Other uncooked pastas 10%
2004.10.01 Potatoes 20%
2005.40.01 Peas, prepared or preserved 20%
2008.11.01 Peanuts without shells 20%
2008.11.99 Other peanuts 20%
2008.19.01 Almonds 20%
2008.19.99 Other mixtures of fruits or seeds. 20%
2008.60.01 Cherries, otherwise prepared or preserved 20%
2009.80.01 Juice from other fruits or vegetables. 20%
2009.90.01 Mixtures of juices or vegetables 20%
2009.90.99 Other mixtures of juices 20%
2103.10.01 Soy sauces 20%
2103.90.99 Other preparations for sauces, or prepared sauces 20%
2104.10.01 Soups and broths preparations 10%
2106.90.06 Juices of any single fruit or vegetable 15%
2106.90.07 Enriched concentrated mixtures of fruits or vegetable juices 15%
2106.90.08 Mixtures of juices with milk solids 15%
2201.10.01 Mineral waters 20%
2204.10.99 Sparkling grape wines 20%
2204.21.02 Red, pink, claret and white wines 20%
2206.00.99 Other alcoholic beverages 20%
2306.30.01 Sunflower seeds 15%
2306.49.99 Oilcake and other solid residues 15%
2309.10.01 Cat or dog food 10%
3213.10.01 Color sets 15%
3304.30.01 Manicure or pedicure preparations 15%
3304.99.99 Other beauty or make-up preparations 15%
3305.10.01 Shampoos 15%
3305.30.01 Hairsprays 15%
3305.90.99 Other preparations to use on hair 15%
3306.10.01 Dentrifices 15%
3306.20.01 Nylon dental flosses 15%
3306.20.99 Dental floss, others 15%
3306.90.99 Other preparations for oral and dental hygene 15%
3307.10.01 Pre-shave, shaving or after-shave preparations 15%
3307.20.01 Personal deodorants and antiperspirants 15%
3924.10.01 Plastic tableware and kitchenware articles 20%
3924.90.99 Other plastic household and toilet articles 20%
3926.40.01 Plastic statuettes and other ornamental articles 20%
4816.20.01 Self-copy papers 10%
4818.10.01 Toilet papers 10%
4820.20.01 Notebooks 10%
4901.99.99 Printed books and brochures 20%
4911.10.99 Printed trade advertising material, commercial catalogs 20%
4911.99.02 Raffle, lottery and show tickets 20%
4911.99.03 Printed matters 20%
4911.99.05 Plastic ID and credit cards 20%
4911.99.99 Other printed matters 20%
5511.10.01 Yarns of synthetic staple fiber 15%
5511.30.01 Yarns of artificial staple fiber 15%
5704.90.99 Other felt carpets and textile floor coverings 20%
5705.00.99 Other carpet and textile floor coverings 20%
7013.49.03 Glassware for table and kitchen purposes (Lime glass) 20%
7113.19.99 Other precious metal articles of jewelry 20%
8302.41.01 Venetian curtain ironworks 20%
8302.41.02 Curtain rods 20%
8302.41.04 Base metal door closers suitable for buildings 20%
8302.41.99 Other base metal articles suitable for buildings 20%
8304.00.99 Other base metal office/desk equipment 20%
8418.10.99 Other combined refrigerator-freezers 15%
8418.21.01 Compression-type household refrigerators 20%
8419.81.01 Cofeemakers 20%
8421.39.99 Other filtering or purifying machinery for gases 10%
8422.11.01 Household dishwashing machines 15%
8450.12.01 Household washing machines 20%
8450.12.99 Other drying machines 20%
8516.79.99 Electrotermic Appliances 20%
8517.11.01 Line telephone sets with cordless handsets 20%
8548.10.01 Battery wastes 20%
9004.10.01 Sunglasses 15%
9403.20.99 Other metal furniture 15%
9504.30.99 Other coin- or token-operated games 15%
9608.10.01 Common metal pens 20%
9608.10.99 Other pens, not made out of metal 20%
9608.20.01 Porous-tip pens and markers 20%
9608.99.99 Other pens 20%
9609.10.01 Pencils 20%

DoingBusinessInMexico Staff
Published: March 18, 2009. 21:35 | Last updated: March 23, 2009. 14:41
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