Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mexican trucks in the United States

Revving up

The end of an old haulage dispute will give Mexican exports an edge

EVERY day along the world’s busiest border, an expensive and time-consuming pantomime is acted out. Goods coming from Mexico are painstakingly unloaded from Mexican lorries so that they can complete their journey in identical lorries driven by Americans. The North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA), introduced in 1994, promised each country’s lorry-drivers the right to roam freely in the other’s border states by 1995 and nationwide by 2000. But American unions, fearing that their members would be undercut, persuaded Congress to forbid Mexican hauliers from venturing more than a few miles beyond the frontier—even though 70% of the two countries’ $400 billion a year in trade is delivered by lorry.

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