ATA renews support for cross-border trucking

American Trucking Associations officials Oct. 18 praised leaders in Mexico and the United States for their work to end the long-running dispute over cross-border trucking.

The pilot program officially began Oct. 14 after officials granted provisional operating authority to the first Mexican carrier participant, Transportes Olympic.

“We’re pleased that after years of delay, and untold billions in economic damage, the Obama administration has found a way to live up to our obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer.

In March, Mexico agreed to remove the remaining 50 percent of the $2.4 billion retaliatory tariffs against U.S. agricultural, consumer and other products five days after the program began. “Congress put us in this position of violating NAFTA in 2009 by halting a successful pilot program,” Graves said. “This short-sighted action led to Mexico raising tariffs on hundreds of products, which we’re thankful to the Mexican government for dropping.”

ATA has a longstanding policy in support of NAFTA’s cross-border trucking provisions, provided those provisions are implemented equally. “While we still have reservations about how the U.S. government will provide oversight for Mexican carriers, we hope that Mexico will also provide transparent access for American companies eager to compete in the market,” Graves said.