Tags: Mexico | US | dispute | truck

Mexico, U.S. Work to End Truck Dispute

Wednesday, 10 February 2010 09:41 AM

MEXICO CITY – Mexico's economy minister said a trade spat with the United States would be resolved this year, as top US trade envoy Ron Kirk visited the Mexican capital on Tuesday.

Economy Minister Gerardo Ruiz Mateos said both sides were working together on the dispute and that a solution "will surely occur this year," underlining that it harmed competition in the recession-hit region.

Mexico last March placed tariffs on nearly 90 US products in retaliation for the cancellation of a program allowing some Mexican trucks into the United States.

The move by US lawmakers violated a section of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Mexico, the United States and Canada.

Trade Representative Kirk -- who sought to boost a new US export initiative during his two-day visit -- underlined that the Obama administration had already changed the language of the bill.

"We have the green light to go forward and start those consultations with Congress (and) with our stakeholders in the US," Kirk told a joint news conference.

Kirk met Monday with leaders of small- and medium-sized businesses, and said they would be key for new export opportunities between the long-term partners.

"We think that is a real growth opportunity to deepen and strengthen what is already a dynamic relationship," Kirk said, as he sought to reassure Mexico amid a US push for trade deals with Panama, Colombia and South Korea.

"Completing those agreements does nothing to diminish the importance of the relationship between the United States and Mexico," Kirk said.

The United States is Mexico's main trading partner, and Mexico is the third biggest US partner, with joint trade representing some 400 billion dollars per year, according to the Mexican minister.

US President Barack Obama last week unveiled the National Export Initiative, a broad plan to double US exports in five years, targeting huge emerging economies like China, India and Brazil.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday, 10 February 2010 09:41 AM
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