Officials seek resolution on cross-border trucking

WASHINGTON – The Alliance to Keep U.S. Jobs is endorsing a letter sent to President Obama by a bipartisan group of former U.S. Cabinet members and U.S. Ambassadors to Mexico that urged him to resolve the cross-border trucking dispute.

Alliance Executive Director Steve Mulder said: "Every day this issue goes unresolved, more and more good paying American jobs are put in jeopardy.

The administration has talked about finding solutions but now it’s time to put their words into action. We hope the President will take advantage of his upcoming meetings in Mexico and urge a swift resolution." The letter sent to Obama, co-signed by former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills, former Ambassadors to Mexico James Jones, Jeffrey Davidow and Tony Garza,and former Commerce Secretaries Norman Mineta and Carlos Gutierrez, said that "without prompt resolution of this 14-year-old dispute our nation will needlessly suffer.
U.S. companies, farmers and workers will continue to be hit by Mexico’s $2.4 billion of retaliatory tariffs on manufactured and agriculture goods – the last thing the United States needs as our unemployment rate approaches 10%."

The Alliance to Keep U.S. Jobs, which represents more than 150 U.S. companies and associations, said it was "concerned about the adverse impact to the U.S. economy stemming from a failure to resolve the longstanding trucking dispute."

To illustrate its case, the alliance examined how one participant, Appleton Papers, of Appleton, Wis., was affected. Appleton Paper is the biggest supplier of carbonless paper to Mexico.

Kent Willetts, vice president of marketing and strategy for Appleton Papers said the 10 percent tariffs on U.S. carbonless paper sold into Mexico has put Appleton at a significant competitive disadvantage because carbonless products from Asia and Europe are not subject to such a duty, the news release stated.

"Given the state of the U.S. economy, these tariffs come at the worst possible time for our company and thousands of our employees," Willetts said. "Appleton is a 100 percent employee-owned company that has a very dedicated, hardworking workforce. Together, we are doing everything we can to remain competitive in these challenging economic times. But these tariffs are causing us to reduce work hours, and wages and jobs for our employees. Over the long term the impact of the tariffs will erode the value of our company stock in which most of our employees have invested for their retirement."

The membership includes these associations: American Apparel & Footwear Association, American Association of Exporters & Importers, American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico, American Chemistry Council, American Cotton Shippers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Feed Industry Association, American Frozen Food Institute, American Home Appliance Manufacturers Association, American Institute for International Steel;

American Meat Institute, American Nursery & Landscape Association, American Peanut Council, American Peanut Product Manufacturers, American Peanuts Shellers Association, American Seed Trade Association, American Soybean Association, American Trucking Associations, Apricot Producers of California, Association of Equipment Manufacturers;

California Cherry Export Association, California Agriculture Issues Forum, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Fig Advisory Board, California Grape and Tree Fruit League, California League of Food Processors, California Pear Advisory Board, California Strawberry Commission, California Table Grape Commission, California Tomato Growers Association;

Consumer Electronics Association, Corn Refiners Association, Distilled Spirits Council, Emergency Committee for American Trade, Fashion Accessories Shippers Association, Fertilizer Institute, Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, Grower-Shipper Association of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties;

International Dairy Foods Association, National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Barley Grower’s Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Christmas Tree Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives…

National Electrical Manufacturers Association; National Foreign Trade Council, National Grain and Feed Association, National Grange, National Milk Producers Federation, National Oilseed Processors Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Potato Council, National Renderers Association, National Sorghum Producers; National Turkey Federation, Nisei Farmers League, North American Equipment Dealers Association, North American Millers’ Association, North American Export Grain Association, Northwest Horticultural Council, Ohio Alliance for International Trade, Oregon Association of Nurseries, Personal Care Products Council, Pet Food Institute;

Popcorn Institute, Produce Marketing Association, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Texas Vegetable Association, United Egg Association, United Egg Producers, United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel, United States Council for International Business, United States Dry Bean Council, U.S. Apple Association; U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Meat Export Federation, U.S. Premium Beef, U.S. Rice Federation, U.S. Rice Producers Association,

U.S. Wheat Associates, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, USA Rice Federation, Ventura County Agricultural Association; Washington State Council for International Trade, Western Growers Association, Western United Dairymen, Wine Institute.

Company membership includes: Altria, ALTICOR, Appleton Paper, Archer Daniels Midland, Blue Diamond Growers, Bunge, Business Roundtable, Campbell Soup Co., Cargill Inc., Caterpillar, Chiquita Brands, Commodity Markets Council, ConAgra Foods, Continental Express, Cornerstone Government Affairs, CropLife America, DHL Express USA, Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock, Free Trade Alliance, General Electric, General Mills, Glanbia Foods, Herbalife International of America, Hershey, Hormel Foods, Jefferson Waterman International, Jochum Shore & Trossevin, JR Simplot Co., Kraft Foods, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Magination

Consulting International, Manatt Phillips, Mars, Mary Kay, McAllister & Quinn, National Beef Packing Co., Ocean Spray Cranberries, P&G, Panasonic Corporation of North America, PepsiCo, Plastic Express, Schering-Plough, Seaboard Foods, Smithfield Foods, STR, TBM Carriers, TechAmerica, Truss World, Tyson Foods, U.S. Dairy Export Council, Unilever, Viagen, Wal-Mart Stores, and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.