Commissioner Staples urges President Obama to solve trade dispute before farmers suffer serious losses
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples March 19 called for the U.S. and Mexico to quickly resolve the conflict between trucks and tariffs.
"With Texas farmers and ranchers working hard to overcome severe drought and hurricane damage, it is unconscionable to add to their hardships by putting up roadblocks and interfering with free trade that has benefited both countries," Commissioner Staples said.
Beginning March 19, the Mexican government imposed tariffs on 89 American products including many agricultural goods. The move comes after a U.S. decision to cancel a cross-border program that gave Mexican truckers access to American highways.
Mexico represents the single largest buyer of Texas agricultural exports, totaling $3.1 billion last year. The tariff list includes peanuts, onions and potatoes--three important crops for Texas farmers. The value of Texas agricultural exports impacted by the tariffs totals approximately $10.2 million.
Commissioner Staples has sent a letter to President Obama urging him to immediately work out a resolution with our neighbors to the south.
"By engaging in high-level talks with the Mexican government, hopefully we can quickly end this standoff over trucks and tariffs," Commissioner Staples said. "The longer this continues the more Texas farmers will suffer.
"In these difficult economic times we need open markets--not higher taxes-- especially when it comes to taxing the sale of our products into markets where consumers want them."