U.S., Mexico Resolve Trucking Dispute

Agreement will end tariffs on U.S. exports, allow Mexican trucks to operate in U.S.

Arlington, VA - July 7, 2011—Mexico and the United States have signed an agreement ending a 16-year dispute that will allow Mexican trucks access to operate in the United States and slash Mexican tariffs placed on U.S. exports to Mexico.

The signing between the Mexican Ministry of Communication and Transportation and the U.S. Department of Transportation on Long-Haul Cross-border Motor Carrier Services (MoU) formalizes the agreement announced last March by Presidents Calderon and Obama to resolve the bilateral dispute.

The cross-border trucking memorandum states that Mexican companies who have completed the necessary requirements will be able to send their trucks into the U.S. starting in one month. Mexico will remove 50 percent of the $2.4 billion dollar tariffs immediately and remove the remaining 50 percent once the U.S. grants authorization for Mexican trucks to operate across the border.

According to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the agency expects the first Mexican truck to be allowed access to the U.S. by the end of August, and that all retaliatory tariffs could end at that time.

Despite having signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, access for Mexican trucks to operate in the U.S. has been blocked. As a result, Mexico was authorized to impose punitive customs duties on U.S. exports to Mexico.

“We applaud this action to resolve the trucking dispute in a manner that promotes road safety, gives relief to U.S. retailers and other companies that are forced to pay the retaliatory duties, and restores normal trade flows between our two nations,” said Stephanie Lester, vice president of international trade for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

“Ending to these punitive and damaging Mexican duties on U.S. exports is a critical step toward improving bilateral relations between the two countries and will bring relief to American companies and consumers. RILA welcomes this agreement to finally resolve this long-standing dispute.”

The retail industry is one of the most important links in the supply chain, bringing high quality products at affordable prices to consumers in the United States, Mexico, and beyond. As a result of the tariffs, U.S. retailers with stores in Mexico are currently paying retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products, which raise the cost that retailers and their customers pay, and make U.S. products less competitive in Mexico when compared to their foreign alternates.