USTR - United States and Mexico Reach Agreement on Cement
                 
The Office of the United States Trade Representative

United States and Mexico Reach Agreement on Cement
03/06/2006

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Sergio Garcia de Alba signed an agreement to promote bilateral trade in cement – a step that resolves a longstanding dispute over cement trade.

"The United States and Mexico have a strong partnership that serves as a foundation in resolving issues together. Today’s agreement on cement marks another success," said Ambassador Portman. "This agreement will provide a needed increase in the supply of cement in the United States at a time of strong demand, as our Gulf Coast is accelerating its rebuilding following the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita."

The agreement makes possible increased imports of Mexican cement, encourages U.S. cement exports to Mexico and settles outstanding litigation. The Agreement also responds to concerns by consumers and builders, notably those now rebuilding the Gulf Coast communities devastated by last summer’s hurricanes.

Background

The Agreement provides for the resolution of all outstanding litigation pending under the WTO and NAFTA in connection with an antidumping order on Mexican cement. For each of the next three years, up to 3 million metric tons of Mexican cement, distributed regionally throughout the southern tier of the United States may be imported at an antidumping duty of $3 per metric ton. Should the President determine that a natural disaster warrants, additional cement up to 200,000 metric tons, may be imported at that same duty rate. The antidumping duty order will be revoked at the conclusion of the agreement.

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