Pursuant to the U.S.-Mexico Agreement on Cement signed early last month at U.S. Department of Commerce’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, duties on imports
Pursuant to the U.S.-Mexico Agreement on Cement signed early last month at U.S. Department of Commerce’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, duties on imports of cement from Mexico running about $26/metric ton are to be lowered this month to $3/metric ton. The agreement was announced in January, signaling an end to a 16-year trade dispute between domestic and Mexican cement producers. It sets a limit of 3 million metric tons of imports of Mexican cement to enter the United States at the lower antidumping duty rate through 2009. If terms are adhered to over its three-year life, the agreement will be terminated and the 1990 antidumping duty order revoked.
This agreement addresses the concerns of producers and consumers on both sides of the border, says Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez. [It] contains provisions that will help increase access to the Mexican market for U.S. cement producers; ensures that our Gulf Coast communities will have the resources necessary to rebuild; [and,] demonstrates that we have the will and means to resolve difficult disputes with our NAFTA partners.
On behalf of the Southern Tier Cement Committee producers, who until recently have urged Commerce to maintain the antidumping duty order, spokesperson Joe Dorn noted, Committee members welcome fair competition and fully expect that this agreement will become the first meaningful step towards full and open access to the Mexican market. STCC members actively participated in the resolution on the antidumping dispute and are optimistic that Mexican producers will operate in the U.S. market in accordance with international trade rules.
Southern Tier members remain committed to meeting the long-term cement needs of the growing American economy, he adds, noting that U.S. cement producers have obtained permits to expand production capacity by more than 15 percent during 2006-2009, at an estimated cost of approximately $3 billion. Domestic companies are also expanding import terminal capacity to supply additional cement from the world market.