President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced a proposed agreement between the United States and Mexico to end the Mexican trucking dispute.
In March 2009, Congress cancelled funding for a pilot program that allowed Mexican long-haul trucks to enter the United States. The cancellation of the program put the United States in violation of its bilateral trade obligations with Mexico under the North America Free Trade Agreement. In response, Mexico imposed retaliatory tariffs on as many as 90 U.S. agricultural and manufactured goods costing U.S. industries billions of dollars. Rice was not among the agricultural products which were subject to the tariffs.
According to the White House fact sheet, "once a final agreement is reached, Mexico will suspend its retaliatory tariffs in stages beginning with reducing tariffs by 50 percent at the signing of an agreement and will suspend the remaining 50 percent when the first Mexican carrier is granted operating authority under the program." The U.S. Congress must approve the final program; media reports indicate a spring 2011 timeline.