Trucking Program Needs to Move Forward


Congress received a "concept document" – sent by the Department of Transportation - that would get a long-delayed truck program with Mexico moving again. (It's about time)

The long-haul truck program is a prerequisite of the North American Free Trade Agreement. It was authorized by Congress in 1993 and went into effect in 1994. The provision allows long-haul truckers from the United States and Mexico to transport shipments across the border.

In 1982, the United States and Canada set a long-haul program in place.There is still no existing program between the United States and Mexico seventeen years after NAFTA.

In 2007, when the Bush administration started a pilot program, a long-haul program between U.S. and Canada existed but only for a short time. The limited program focused on crucial issues by placing U.S. truck inspectors in Mexico, subjecting Mexican trucks to the same safety standards as its U.S. Counterparts and obligated Mexican drivers to get hold of insurance from U.S.-licensed firms.

In the middle of the trial period, Mexican drivers had a more attractive safety record than their U.S. Counterparts.

The Obama administration together with the Democrat-majority Congress abolished the test program in 2009. This made Mexico to even the score by slapping tariffs on 89 U.S. Commodities.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's and the National Association of Manufacturers' March 2010 report appraised the tariffs is responsible for the loss of $2.6 billion in U.S. exports and 25,000 American jobs. The Texas agricultural exports were specifically greatly affected.

The Mexican government adjusted the tariff list to cover 99 categories of American commodities.

The trade war with Mexico would be pointless any time. It is specifically damaging during hard times and it is also absolutely unnecessary. Once the trucks start hauling, U.S. exports will start soaring.

It is integral for the United States to honor the NAFTA agreements.

It is imperative for the Obama administration and Congress to move quickly to get a new, safe version of the pilot trucking program in operation.