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U.S. Transportation Department Releases Initial Concept Document for Long Haul Cross-Border Mexican Trucking Program

Thursday, January 6, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today shared with Congress and the government of Mexico an initial concept document regarding the implementation of a long haul cross-border Mexican trucking program. This is the first step in renewing negotiations with Mexico on the ongoing trucking issue.

Congress eliminated funding for a pilot cross-border trucking project in 2009, stating continued concerns about the safety of Mexican trucks.  The Mexican government argued that the trucking program ban puts the United States in violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) cross-border trucking commitments and a NAFTA dispute-settlement panel agreed, allowing Mexico to retaliate by placing steep tariffs on U.S. goods, including pork.

Since the pilot program’s elimination, Secretary LaHood and other Administration officials have met with lawmakers, safety advocates and industry representatives. The initial concept document attempts to address concerns raised during that process.

“We are encouraged that the Administration recognizes the importance of meeting our NAFTA obligations, especially with our closest and biggest trading partners.  We hope this will lead to quick resolution and elimination of Mexico’s duties on U.S. pork products,” said AMI’s President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle.

To view the concept document, click here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/cross-border/Concept-Trucks-English.pdf

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