Department of Transportation Releases Mexican Trucking Concept Paper
January 21, 2011
On January 6, 2011 the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) publicly released a concept paper outlining a proposed new cross-border trucking program. Mexican officials also received the proposal on January 6. U.S. officials hope that the concept paper will be the first step in resolving the longstanding cross-border trucking dispute with Mexico which began after Congress cut off funding in 2009 for the 2007 trucking pilot program, which allowed for limited access of Mexican trucks into the United States. In retaliation, Mexico instituted tariffs worth approximately $2.4 billion per year. According to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, provided that the talks go well, the U.S. could have a new trucking program in place within six months. U.S. and Mexican Officials met January 18, 2011 to "exchange information" regarding the U.S. proposal.
Mexican Economy Secretary Bruno Farrari has said that Mexico will not rotate its retaliation list again, as it had recently threatened to do. He also indicated that Mexico would present a plan for lifting the retaliatory tariffs after the U.S. answers questions about the new proposal and provides a specific timeline for meeting its NAFTA trucking obligations. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has said he does not expect Mexico to lift the retaliatory tariffs until after a final agreement is reached. Mexico submitted questions to the U.S. government on January 9, 2011.
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