The American Trucking Associations said it supports the announcement of an agreement in principle between the governments of the United States and Mexico to implement the long-delayed cross-border trucking provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“ATA is pleased that Presidents Obama and Calderon and their administrations have worked through their differences and have put our two countries on the path to resolving this issue after nearly 16 years,” ATA President and CEO Bill P. Graves said following today’s announcement. “We hope this agreement will be a first step to increasing trade between our two countries, more than 70 percent of which crosses the border by truck.”

The agreement upholds previous requirements for Mexican trucks operating on U.S. highways, notably that Mexican fleets apply for and receive authority from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; demonstrate they meet the same safety standards as U.S. fleets and that those trucks are prohibited from hauling freight between destinations within the United States.

“When properly implemented, NAFTA’s trucking provisions should evolve to allow for a more efficient, safe and secure environment for cross-border operations between the U.S. and Mexico,” Graves said. “Ensuring a level playing field requires that both countries establish permitting and regulatory processes that are clear and transparent to ensure that carriers from both countries are treated equitably.” 

Mexico is the second largest export market for the United States. ATA is hopeful that the lifting of the retaliatory tariffs that were imposed after a previous cross-border trucking pilot program was abolished by Congress in 2009 will help the two countries resume more normal trading patterns and increase the flow of commerce between the two countries.

The American Trucking Associations (www.truckline.com) is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States. Follow ATA on Twitter @TruckingMatters (www.twitter.com/truckingmatters), or become a fan on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/y4qwp6h).