SPECIAL REPORT: Cross-border program on Mexican Senate agenda

| 4/23/2007

Monday, April 23, 2007 – A request to delay the cross-border program allowing 100 Mexican motor carriers full access to the U.S. will be discussed Tuesday by the Mexican Senate.

According to a translation of a T21.com.mx news story, Humberto Rueda, a member of the Communications and Transportation Committee, asked the Senate to consider delaying the program until July.

Rueda’s request follows an appeal from a trade association representing Mexican motor carriers asking the Mexican Senate to cancel the cross-border pilot program with the United States.

“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 discretional treatment by U.S. authorities,” CANACAR National President Tirso Martinez Angheben wrote in a press release.

Angheben appeared before the Communication and Transportation Committee of the Mexican Senate the last week in March to explain why the transportation industry opposes the opening of trans-border services and the pilot program between the U.S. and Mexico, according to the press release.

CANACAR is an organization which represents the general interests of the Mexican trucking industry.

In addition to discussing a delay in the program, Rueda wants to direct Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderón, to open up a month-long discussion into the program, according to T21.com.mx.

Rueda also wants to ensure that the border is opened to U.S. motor carriers at the same time it is opened to the Mexican motor carriers – not some six months later as the program is set up right now.

Angheben was pleased by the position of the Communications and Transportation Committee. According toT21.com.mx he also expected to hear a modification to the proposed date of the program.

This isn’t the first time CANACAR has tried to shut down a NAFTA provision – but the group certainly has made it further along in the process this time.

In 2001, the group petitioned the Mexican Senate to cancel the trucking section of NAFTA.

“The majority of people in the United States don’t want Mexican trucks to go there, and we told our president that we don’t want to go, either,” said CANACAR’s then-president Manuel Gomez in 2001. “Nor are we interested in having U.S. trucks come to Mexico.”

– By Jami Jones, senior editor

The original T21.com.mx article was translated by Stephanie Harsh.