President Obama and Mexican President Calderon recently announced a joint program to breathe life back into the once terminated U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking program.
The agreement between the two countries will allow Mexican trucking companies to legally operate in the United States, while eliminating the retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico when President Obama announced the termination of the cross-border program in 2009.
Under the agreement, Mexican trucking companies will be phased-into their grant of U.S. operating authority by meeting all current U.S. laws and safety requirements (drivers must be able to speak English, pass drug tests, etc.), installing electronic on-board recorders, and passing several months of safety inspections.
The final draft of the agreement is still in process as the two governments work out the final details. Once the final draft is released, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will confer with key members of Congress before making the agreement publicly available for comment.
In 1992, the U.S. first promised to open its borders to Mexican truckers per Annex I of NAFTA. Ironically, while the issue of allowing Mexican truckers to cross the U.S. border has been one of the most controversial topics in U.S. trucking history, Canadian truckers enjoy unlimited access to locations across the U.S.-Canada border.
Numbers behind nixed cross-border trucking program [03/30/2009]
The Tale of Cross-Border Trucking [3/19/2007]