US government officials are currently reconsidering antidumping tariffs on cement imported from Mexico, but are facing fierce pressure from interest groups on both sides, a US official told BNamericas. Last month, a dispute panel from the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) secretariat ordered the US commerce department to review its decision to levy tariffs on Mexican cement.
The US has 60 days to decide whether or not to go ahead and abolish the tariffs, but "may seek extra time given the political ramifications," the official said. US construction companies, their organizations and pro-free trade congressman have all expressed support, both overtly and "behind closed doors," for reducing or even scrapping the tariffs, the official said. Those groups claim that the tariffs are partly responsible for keeping the prices at artificially high levels.