Mexican truckers get green light to run in US
Nov 30, 2002 12:00 PM
Seven years behind schedule, the US government finally opened US highways to Mexican truckers wanting to operate beyond the 20-mile commercial zones along the US-Mexico border. The decision comes nearly a year after President George W Bush promised to do so in compliance with a provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The action was taken November 27.
The Mexican government welcomed Bush’s action in a statement released November 28. However, US regulations that were adopted specifically to address Mexican carrier qualifications were criticized. Mexican officials argued that Canadian carriers don’t face the same requirements. Earlier this year, federal officials in Mexican said that they reserved the right to adopt retaliatory regulations on US truckers.
Immediately after Bush lifted the moratorium on Mexican trucks, Transportation Secretary Norman Y Mineta announced that he had directed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to act on the 130 applications for US authority received thus far from Mexico-domiciled truck and bus companies. US officials said approximately half of these carriers are ready for safety audits.
In addition to the 130 Mexican carriers wanting to operate throughout the United States, more than 850 have applied for provisional certificates of registration to operate in the border commercial zones. FMCSA has issued provisional certificates to 459.