Thursday, April 21, 2011

Industry Hot Point – Update: United States & Mexico Cross-Border Trucking Agreement

Over the past few weeks, the Obama Administration has further revealed its plan to forge ahead with opening up the US-Mexico border to long-haul trucks from Mexico. In our previous post, we outlined how the basics of the program and what it will change. Today, we will go into more details regarding the plan, and some important time frames.

So, what are the plan details?

As outlined by the Administration, the plan is to implement a three stage program. Once a company from Mexico has operated in the US for 18 months and they pass a compliance review, they will be granted permanent authority. So, even if the pilot program was shut down, any Mexican motor carrier with permanent authority would be allowed to continue to operate long-haul in the US.

Where does this leave Mexican Carriers who have participated in previous pilot programs?

These types of carriers will be given “credit” for the time that they have previously operated in the US. So, for example, if a company completed 6 months in the previous program, they could theoretically get permanent operating authority after another 12 months.

How often will inspections of Mexican trucks occur?

During this first stage of the program, each truck participating in the program will be inspected each time it enters into the US. However, the plan is for driver licenses to be checked only 50% of the time. Each truck from Mexico will be required to be equipped with GPS or Electronic On-Board Recorders (EOBRs).

What will happen with the tariffs Mexico imposed on US Exports?

Mexico first imposed retaliatory tariffs on US Exports almost two years ago. Under this new agreement, US shippers of fresh fruit and vegetables will now be able to move their product across the border without being subject to a tariff. The tariffs place on US products by Mexico will be reduced by 50% when a final agreement is signed. The Department of Transportation Fact Sheet estimates this will be in approximately 60 days. The remaining 50% will be removed when the first Mexican company receives its operating authority to run long-haul in the United States.

Want to weigh in on this discussion? Are you for or against this program? Share your thoughts!!!


Special Report: DOT forges ahead with cross-border plan. By Jami Jones. Accessed on April 8, 2011.

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