Tariff that cost Wash. orchardists millions ends

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington fruit and potato growers hope to see sales jump now that a Mexican tariff is on the verge of disappearing.

The Mexican government imposed the tariff of 20 percent in 2009 on 90 U.S. products, including cherries, pears and apricots. Apples were added later.

The tariff was imposed after Congress failed to pay for a pilot program that allowed Mexican carriers to make deliveries inside the United States. It's expected to end within days because a Mexican trucking firm on Friday was permitted to make such deliveries.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports (http://bit.ly/niiyGY ) that the tariffs cost Washington orchardists tens of millions of dollars.

Mark Powers, of the Northwest Horticultural Council of Yakima, says ending the tariff will make Washington products more affordable in Mexico.

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