WA fruit growers pleased by agreement with Mexico

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington fruit growers are celebrating an agreement with Mexico that should increase exports.

The agreement signed Wednesday in Mexico City gives Mexican trucks access to U.S. highways. It was part of the 1994 North America Free Trade Agreement. But after Mexican trucks were blocked, Mexico retaliated in 2009 by imposing tariffs on dozens of U.S. products, including Washington cherries, apples, pears and apricots.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the tariffs have cost Northwest fruit growers tens of millions of dollars.

Washington Apple Commission Chairman Frank Davis says the industry is excited by the new agreement because Mexico is a large market.

Northwest Horticultural Council Vice President Mark Powers says the agreement benefits both U.S. growers and consumers in Mexico.

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Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com