Mexico Slaps Tariff On U. S. Ham, Pork Products – for Aug. 26, 2010

Mexico slapped tariffs on U. S. pork products Aug. 18, ratcheting up the pressure on the United States in a long-running dispute over Mexican truckers’ access to U. S. highways.

Mexico published an updated list of U. S. products subject to tariffs, including a five per cent tariff on ham and other pork products.

The government of President Felipe Calderon was infuriated last year when U. S. lawmakers voted to cancel funding for a pilot program begun under U. S. President George W. Bush allowing long-haul Mexican trucks to circulate in the United States.

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect in 1994, the United States agreed to open its market to Mexican trucks.

Mexico said the United States was not living up to its end of the deal and retaliated by imposing duties on a long list of U. S. exports, including fruit, vegetables and industrial goods.

In addition to pork, several agricultural and food items were assigned 20 per cent tariffs, including some cheeses, oranges, grapefruits, chewing gums and ketchup.

Sweet corn was given a 15 per cent tariff.

Earlier this week, Mexico’s Economy Minister Bruno Ferrari said negotiations over the trucking dispute had stalled, forcing Mexico to take new action. He said Mexico would keep revising the list to affect a broader spectrum of goods.

U. S. business groups say the dispute threatens thousands of U. S. jobs.

U. S. Fed Cattle Supply

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange cattle futures Aug. 20 USDA Cattle on Feed Report showed a larger supply but it was close to expectations, analysts said.

USDA reported 9,873 million cattle were in feedlots on Aug. 1, or 102.5 per cent of a year ago. USDA reported July marketings at 1.903 million head, or 98.4 per cent of a year ago. That is the lowest July marketing number since 1996.

July placements were 1.754 million, or 94.2 per cent of year ago.

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