U.S. Mexico and Truck Deal

US and Mexico cross-border trucking

      After a 17-year dispute, U.S. and Mexico have signed a deal to allow their trucks to use each other's roads.   A pilot program to allow Mexican trucks to circulate will now resume. This deal is viewed by most as something that would address safety concerns over Mexican vehicles, among other issues.   While some Business groups have welcomed this agreement, the US trucking unions have condemned it.

The 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), requested that Mexican trucks have full access to US highways, but they were kept to a border buffer zone.   With this, these Mexican vehicles were generally allowed no further that 40km (25 miles) into the US.   Due to a cut in funding for a pilot program to allow long-haul Mexican trucks to circulate in the US in 2009, this prompted Mexico to slap tariffs on a range of US agriculture and industrial products. Some saw this “pilot program” as lowering wages and robbing jobs from hard-working American truck drivers and warehouse workers.

      Upon announcing the deal in Mexico City, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stated that it would “create jobs and opportunity for our people and support economic development in both nations.” US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s input was that ending the dispute which had cost the US businesses more than $2 billion is a “major win for US agriculture, American jobs and our nation’s economic prosperity.”

        Although the NAFTA agreement stipulates that the US and Mexican carriers were authorized to cross the border, the US refused to allow Mexican trucks full access, citing concerns of their ability to meet US safety and environmental standards. Under this deal:

    • The pilot program will be reinstated with Mexican lorry drivers getting a provisional 18-month license that may lead to permanent approval.

    • Electronic monitoring systems will be mandatory for record keeping of how long the vehicles are in...