Thursday, March 10, 2011

Industry News Alert - United States, Mexico Reach Cross-Border Trucking Agreement

On March 3, in a joint news conference, United States President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced that both countries have reached a preliminary agreement set to resolve the long-standing dispute over cross-border trucking.

What does the agreement outline?

The agreement aligns with previous requirements that Mexican motor carriers will be required to apply for authority from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and also demonstrate that they meet the same safety standards as United States fleets. Under this agreement, Mexican trucks will have the same situation as Canadian trucks, and will be prohibited from hauling freight between destinations within the United States.

What will the agreement change?

If the agreement is approved by Congress, Mexico would remove the tariffs it has imposed on U.S. fresh fruits and vegetables. Shippers of apples, pears, cherries, apricots, strawberries, table grapes, grapefruit, oranges, onions, lettuce, for example have suffered at one time or another during the period since the tariffs were first imposed in 2009.

When is all this supposed to happen?

After the final draft agreement is signed, Mexico has agreed to suspend 50% of these tariffs; this could happen in as little as two months. The remaining 50% of tariffs would be suspended once the first Mexican carrier is granted operating authority under the new program, which could happen perhaps a couple of months after the final draft agreement is signed.

What does it mean for the transportation industry?

As with any government/industry agreement, positive and negatives have been brought up by stakeholders. One significant positive point is that U.S. shippers of fresh fruit and vegetables will now be able to move their product across the border without being subject to a tariff.

One negative that some in the industry have highlighted is that allowing Mexican trucks into the U.S. will increase risks to motorists and open the doors for increased drug trafficking. This threat will be eased with increased and strict monitoring of all trucks that cross the border.

Whatever the outcome, positive and negatives will be discussed, and UWC will strive to keep all involved updated.


U.S., Mexico lay out path to end trucking dispute – The Packer – Published on 03/03/2011 by Tom Karst. Accessed on 03/08/2011.

U.S., Mexico reach Cross-Border Trucking Agreement – TIA Logistics Weekly – 03-09-2011.

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