News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after U.S. President Barack Obama and President of Mexico Felipe Calderón announced that they had reached an agreement on a path forward for resolving the cross-border trucking dispute and ending the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products. The Mexican government has committed to suspending 50% of the tariffs once a final rule is published and an agreement is signed. The other 50% of the tariffs will be suspended when the new program commences.

“This is absolutely an encouraging step forward toward resolving this issue, but I am once again deeply disappointed that the Mexican government has refused to immediately lift the retaliatory tariffs that are devastating farmers in my home state of Washington.

“By maintaining the tariffs on Washington state products like potatoes and apples, Mexico is continuing to punish farmers and growers in my home state who have absolutely nothing to do with this dispute.

“The Mexican government has indicated in the past that it would end these tariffs as soon as the negotiations were on track for a resolution. I believe we are solidly on that path, and I once again call on the Mexican government to immediately end these harmful tariffs and allow our farmers to compete on the level playing field they deserve.”

  • On January 11, 2011, Murray called the Mexican government’s response to the initial U.S. proposal “deeply unfair” to Washington state farmers and called on them to lift their tariffs immediately.

  • On January 6, 2011, Murray praised an announcement by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood that the Administration will be moving forward with a proposal to negotiate an end to the Mexican tariffs on agricultural products in Washington state and across the country. Murray also called on the Mexican government to immediately end their tariffs now that a proposal has been put forward. 

  • On September 28, 2010, Murray brought Secretary LaHood to Washington state to meet with local growers so that he could hear first-hand about the devastating effects Mexican tariffs are having on the state’s agriculture industry.

  • On July 26, 2010, she included language in a key Senate spending bill that calls on the administration to put forward a plan that would end retaliatory tariffs on Washington state agricultural products by October 1, 2010.

  • On May 28, 2010, Murray sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him move forward with a plan to end Mexican tariffs that have had a devastating impact on the Washington state agricultural industry. Murray sent the letter after President Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. During the meeting, the two presidents discussed the tariffs Mexico has placed on U.S. products. Mexico has targeted eighty-seven Washington state products in this dispute and hundreds of jobs have been lost.

  • Prior to the meeting between President Obama and Mexican President Calderon, Senator Murray sent a President a letter urging him to use the meeting as an opportunity to work to end Mexican tariffs that have had a devastating impact on the Washington state farmers and families.  She has also spoken with senior White House officials to reemphasize that point.

  • On May 4, 2010 Senator Murray met with the Mexican Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan to discuss the impact of Mexican tariffs on Washington state families, jobs, and agriculture industry. Murray urged the Mexican government to end the retaliatory tariffs that are harming Washington state families, and to use Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s upcoming visit to Washington, D.C. as an opportunity to resolve the differences.

  • In early March, at a hearing of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray pushed Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to move faster on a plan to resume cross-border trucking with Mexico, urging him to resolve the situation to save American jobs while ensuring the safety of the public at large.

  • In October 2009, Senator Murray hosted a meeting between Washington state farmers and Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari to make sure he understood the local impact of the retaliatory tariffs.  In April of that year, she joined a bipartisan Senate letter to the Obama Administration urging the end of these punitive tariffs.