North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Implementation: The Future of Commercial Trucking Across the Mexican Border
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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NAFTA set forth a schedule for implementing its trucking provisions that would have opened the border states to cross-border trucking competition in 1995 and all of North America in 2000, but full implementation has been stalled because of concern with the safety of Mexican trucks. Congress first addressed these concerns in the FY2002 Department of Transportation Appropriations Act P.L. 107-87 which set 22 safety-related preconditions for opening the border to long-haul Mexican trucks. In November 2002, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that all the preconditions had been met and began processing Mexican applications for U.S. long-haul authority. However, a suit over environmental compliance delayed implementation further. After the suit was resolved, in February 2007, the U.S. and Mexican Secretaries of Transportation announced a demonstration project to implement the NAFTA trucking provisions. The purpose of the project was to demonstrate the ability of Mexico-based motor carriers to operate safely in the United States beyond the border commercial zones. Up to 100 Mexico-domiciled carriers would be allowed to operate throughout the United States for one year and Mexico would allow the same for up to 100 U.S.-based carriers. With passage of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 P.L. 110-28, Congress mandated additional requirements before the project could begin. After failing to defund the demonstration project in the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act P.L. 110-161, Congress succeeded in terminating the demonstration project through a provision in the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act P.L. 111-8. Subsequently, Mexico announced it would retaliate by increasing import duties on 90 U.S. products. The Obama Administration has indicated it intends to propose a revamped program that will address the concerns of Congress.
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