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