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U.S. Takes Steps to Make Mexican Trucking Program Permanent

In a report recently submitted to Congress, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says it is taking steps to make permanent the pilot program that allows truckers from Mexico to haul goods within the United States. FMCSA is expected to begin accepting applications soon from Mexican companies not already enrolled in the pilot program.

Congress eliminated funding for the pilot program in 2009, resulting in its termination. Mexico contended that this move violated U.S. trade obligations under NAFTA and imposed retaliatory duties on Mexican imports of some U.S. products – including U.S. bone-in hams and some other U.S. pork products.

In two installments, Mexico agreed to temporarily suspend these duties when the U.S. revived the pilot trucking program in 2011. But the duties were not permanently eliminated, and Mexico reserved the right to reinstate them if officials were not satisfied with the manner in which the U.S. implemented the program.