Mexican trucking fearful of U.S. competitors

| 11/30/2001

Mexican trucking companies are fearful that stricter U.S. inspections and competition could spell doom for their industry. According to published reports, Mexican companies claim they are already losing as much as $100,000 a day from delays caused by tightened border security since Sept. 11.

U.S. congressional negotiators and the White House reached a deal Nov. 28 that will allow Mexican trucks to operate beyond the commercial zone. The announcement was met with discontent by some in the Mexican trucking industry.

"So now the owner of the world is telling us that we can come into his house," a disgusted Manuel Sotelo, president of the Ciudad Juarez Trucking Association, told the Associated Press. "Well, given the fact that American businesses have a lot of money along with America's protectionist culture and discrimination, it'll be impossible for us to compete."

While the Mexican government has sought increased access to U.S. highways, many Mexican trucking companies claim they don't have the money to update their aging fleets. Mexican truckers also worry that if they are allowed to go into the United States, it will encourage U.S. trucking companies to come into Mexico and set up shop, driving Mexican trucking companies out of business.

Mexico's main trucking association, representing 8,000 firms, had asked Mexican President Vicente Fox to put the brakes on cross-border trucking. "The Mexican government just sat on its hands, waiting for orders from the Americans," Sotelo said.