15 July 2011Seventeen years after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into being; one provision of the agreement has finally been realized. The US will now allow trucks from Mexico to travel in the US outside of the current 25 mile border zone. But does the US really want this provision at this time? The economy is still shaky and up to now Mexican goods moving further than 25 miles into the US has meant that American trucks and drivers have been hauling a lot of goods. But this is soon to change.
The Teamsters Union have been against the provision saying that the Department of Transportation (DoT) is allowing jobs to be taken from US drivers as well as allowing unsafe trucks on the roads. In response the DoT is requiring that Mexican drivers and trucks follow strict standards such as background checks for drivers, testing of trucks for emissions, and electronic on-board monitoring.
There are potentially 400,000 Mexican trucks that could flow across the border, but due to the current strict standards, only very few Mexican trucks will be able to make the journey. Unless the DoT regulations are relaxed, the number of trucks crossing the border from the south will remain low.