June 16,2003

Statement of Senator Max Baucus regarding U.S. World Trade Organization Challenge against Mexico

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senator Max Baucus, Ranking Democrat on the Senate FinanceCommittee, today issued the following statement, in response to the filing of a World TradeOrganization (WTO) challenge by the U.S. against Mexico for the use of antidumping orders onU.S. beef and rice:

“I applaud U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick’s decision to challenge Mexico’santidumping duties against U.S. beef and rice exports. Montana cattlemen have been fighting theseunfair duties for more than three years. I know hardworking rice farmers from other parts of thecountry have also fought against their duties since imposition a year ago.

“Unfortunately, our dispute with Mexico over these duties is only the tip of the iceberg, at least withregard to agriculture. Mexico has also placed unfair barriers on a host of other commodities, suchas dry beans. We cannot allow our trading partners, particularly one as close as Mexico, to continueto block unfairly the market access our ranchers and farmers have fought so hard to earn.

“I pledge my support to this challenge and urge the United States Trade Representative to pursue it withdiligence and perseverance until a fair resolution is reached.”