Economy Ministry said March 12 it had proposed an "urgent"
meeting with U.S. transport authorities to find a way for Mexican
truckers to operate in the United States as stipulated in the North
American Free Trade Agreement, Dow Jones reported.
request comes as Mexican President Vicente Fox is under pressure
to support a U.S.-backed resolution on Iraq. The trucking delay
is seen as a large thorn in U.S.-Mexico relations.
drivers were due to have access to U.S. roads in 2000, but environmental
and labor groups succeeded in blocking their entry. U.S. operators
have been able to set up joint ventures in Mexico since 1995.
Economy Minister Fernando Canales and Transport Minister Pedro Cerisola
reminded U.S. trade representative Robert Zoellick March 12 that
the U.S. is violating NAFTA by not opening its borders to Mexican
truckers, the Economy Ministry said in a press release.
Economy Ministry said the U.S. Department of Transportation has
received close to 1,500 applications from Mexican truckers interested
in making long hauls north of the border. Still, Mexican trucks
remain restricted to a narrow, 20-mile unloading zone on the U.S.
side of the border.