Goodlatte Applauds USTR for Filing WTO Case Against Mexico Involving Two Discriminatory Taxes

Mar 16, 2004

GOODLATTE APPLAUDS USTR FOR FILING WTO CASE AGAINST MEXICO INVOLVING TWO DISCRIMINATORY TAXES
Says, "This is an appropriate move which serves the interest of U.S. agriculture?"

Washington , DC : Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, today praised United States Trade Representative Robert Zoellick for filing a case against Mexico in the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding their 20 percent sales tax and 20 percent distribution tax on sweetened beverages that do not use cane sugar.

"I am a strong supporter of trade and agree with the President that we must open new markets for our nation's producers and agribusinesses," Goodlatte said. "But in moving forward with future trade agreements we must not neglect to enforce existing agreements. Mexico 's beverage taxes are inconsistent with their obligations in the WTO."

This recent action by USTR was an appropriate move and one which I support in the interest of U.S. agriculture. The only way that the agriculture community can have confidence in future trade agreements is if the Administration actively enforces those already in place."

In October of last year, Goodlatte sent a letter to Zoellick urging that if Mexico continued to be unwilling to address the issue, it should be met with a strong counter response from the U.S. , including retaliation if necessary.

Only beverages that use high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or any other sweetener other than cane sugar are subject to the beverage taxes. These taxes have dramatically restricted U.S. exports of HFCS.

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