Mexican Trucking Group Says 'No' to Crossing the U.S. Border

The major trade association representing Mexican motor carriers wants its government to cancel the controversial pilot program that would permit trucks and their drivers to deliver freight beyond the current north-of-the-border 25-mile limit. CANACAR (Nacional del Autotransporte de Carga), recently appeared before the Communication and Transportation Committee of the Mexican Senate, requesting that it shelve the program that would permit 100 Mexican trucking firms open access to U.S. highways as part of a one-year pilot project.

The organization's national president, Tirso Martinez Angheben, notes that, "CANACAR has formally requested not to open the borders for trans-border services and to have the pilot program suspended until conditions for a fair competitive environment are existing and that the Mexican trucking industry has the guarantee of not being subject to unfair inequitable and discriminatory treatment by U.S. authorities."

One major objection, according to CANACAR, focuses on what it sees as the U.S. government's lack of compliance with provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On one hand, runs the argument, Mexican trucking companies are not allowed to invest in U.S.-based trucking companies or to provide services within the country. On the other hand, U.S.-based trucking companies have invested in the Mexican infrastructure and have a commercial presence in the country.

Angheben says an open border "will cause transportation prices in Mexico to increase; will not accelerate the border crossing process; will generate strong pressure on salaries paid to Mexican drivers, which in turn will increase the cost of domestic freight in Mexico. Further, the Mexican government lacks the capacity and infrastructure to supervise U.S. carriers entering Mexico and prevent foreign companies from providing domestic transportation reserved solely for Mexican nationals."

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