U.S. and Mexican authorities today signed an agreement that will allow trucks from both countries to carry goods far beyond the border separating the two.
Since 1994, the U.S. has refused to comply with a condition of the North American Free Trade Agreement that would allow Mexican trucks to transport goods to their destination. Instead, the those trucks have been restricted to traveling only 25 miles beyond the border.
Mexico struck back against the U.S. by imposing tariffs on American imports. The deal signed today will reduce or eliminate many of those tariffs.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples praised the deal in a written statement.
“For too long, Texas farmers, ranchers and consumers have paid the price for longstanding trade disputes between our two countries. In these tough economic times, it is imperative that the voice of reason speaks on behalf of our hardworking U.S. farmers and ranchers as well as consumers. As neighbors, Texas and Mexico have worked hard for decades to create harmonious trade protocols and this agreement is another step forward in a mutually beneficial partnership.”
Trucks traveling from Mexico to the U.S. will have to be inspected and permitted.
President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon had struck a tentative agreement on the issue in March. Today’s signing by each country's secretary of transportation formalized that agreement for a three-month trial period.