Monday, February 14, 2011

New DOT Proposal Allows Mexican Trucks into the US

Obama plans to admit Mexican trucks to drive US highways and roads as a starting point for negotiations intended to resolve a longstanding dispute between the two nations. The proposal aims to satisfy the obligations of the US under the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), while also prioritizing the safety of products transported across the border.

In 2009 Congress blocked the cross border truck safety pilot program with the Omnibus Appropriation Act. Since the US is not currently meeting its NAFTA obligations to allow a pilot program of Mexican trucks to enter the US, Mexico has placed retaliatory tariffs on many US goods, including fresh produce items entering Mexico. Given the economic impact on the fresh produce industry and the damage caused to US-Mexico trade, United Fresh contends that the crisis must be resolved urgently.

However when the U.S. Department of Transportation's revealed its plans for opening American roads to Mexican trucking companies, the proposal met with the ire of U.S. truck drivers. Expressed concerns over jobs, safety and environmental regulations being met, and crime trafficking are being brought to light.

The new DOT proposal includes a five-step process for any Mexican carrier seeking to operate inside the U.S. There will be an application process followed by a vetting procedure that would require both the Dept. of Homeland Security and the Dept. of Justice to sign off on the carrier.

Initially, a limited number of carriers would be allowed into the program, DOT said, to allow for proper program oversight. However there is still great concern that questionable trucks and sketchy wheel-men will slip through the cracks.

"It will take substantial effort on the part of the Obama Administration and Congress to work through the concepts in this proposal and create a final agreement acceptable to all parties," Director of International Trade Policy Doug Goudie said

Read more about the new DOT proposal in the New York Times and make sure you and your truck are properly insured. Berrier insurance offers the best rates on commercial truck insurance! Contact us and we will give you a free truck insurance quote over the phone at 888-472-4915.

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