Sen. Michael Bennet released the following statement on the news that a deal was signed recently to end a 17-year-old trade dispute between the United States and Mexico that was adversely affecting agricultural producers in Colorado through high retaliatory tariffs. The deal marks a positive step forward in the effort to expand Colorado exports of agricultural products to Mexico, according to Bennet.
"This deal is great news for Colorado agricultural producers and our rural economies," Bennet said. "Mexico is our third-largest trading partner, but high retaliatory tariffs were hampering efforts by Colorado farmers to expand exports to our neighbors south of the border.
"This deal will begin to responsibly roll back those tariffs and ensure that producers here in Colorado can compete on a level playing field. We will continue to work with farmers, ranchers and agricultural leaders in our state to help resolve remaining disputes that hinder our exports and close off our products from new opportunities and markets abroad."
Since 1994, the United States had forbidden Mexican truckers from traveling more than 25 miles into the country. Mexico retaliated by imposing tariffs on a range of American goods and agricultural products.
In February, Bennet and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack met and developed strategies about how to solve outstanding trade disputes with Mexico to open that important market to Colorado products.
Last year, Bennet joined then-Reps. John Salazar and Betsy Markey in sending a letter to Mexican President Felipe Calderon pushing him to open the Mexican market to U.S. potatoes.
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