Honor U.S. Commitment on Cross-Border Trucking

By March 26, 2008Infrastructure, Trade

The NAM is a co-signer with many, many companies and business and agriculture groups to a letter urging Congress to live up to the U.S. commitment to enact a cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico. It’s a good letter.

Prior to implementation of the pilot program, the United States restricted Mexican trucks entering the United States. In 2001, a NAFTA dispute-settlement panel unanimously ruled that the blanket exclusion of Mexican trucking firms violated U.S. obligations under the NAFTA. The ruling gave Mexico the right to retaliate against U.S. products entering Mexico. It is estimated Mexican retaliation against U.S. products could be as much as $2 billion per year. Fortunately, Mexico refrained from retaliation. However, if the pilot trucking program is blocked, we expect Mexico to exercise its right to retaliate. Retaliation of this magnitude could wipe out a broad swath of U.S. exports to Mexico and related U.S. jobs.

Although agricultural interests would be most prominently affected, the harm from Mexican retaliation could also be significant.

Mexico is an important export market for many U.S. businesses and manufacturers. For example, Mexico is one of the largest export markets for consumer electronics (CE) products produced in the United States. The CE industry is poised to be negatively affected by any retaliation. Additionally, Mexico is by far the largest market for U.S.-made yarn and fabric (textiles). Almost $3 billion worth of U.S. textiles were exported to Mexico in 2007. Textile exports could be jeopardized by the Mexican retaliation as well as by lack of cross border trucking.

And shouldn’t the United States live up to its agreements?

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