Yesterday, President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon struck a deal to end the the 20-year long cross-border trucking dispute.
The pact seeks to repair the rift created by Obama and Democrats in Congress who in 2009, bowing to pressure from organized labor, Congressional Democrats included within the omnibus spending bill a provision to end the pilot program to allow Mexican trucks to ship goods deep within U.S. borders, violating our obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement. In retaliation, Mexico announced it would raise tariffs on 90 U.S. agricultural and industrial products, worth more than $2.4 billion in American goods exported to our southern neighbor.
During the press conference at the White House with Mr. Calderon, Obama said that they had found a “clear path to resolving the dispute over trucking between our two countries.” He went on to say that the trucking plan will be taken to congress and he will make it happen.
Under this new agreement, the U.S. will implement a program allowing Mexican trucks to operate across the border and Mexico will suspend its tariffs on certain U.S. goods. Half of the tariffs will be lifted immediately, while the other half will not be lifted until the first truck passes the border.