Times Staff and Wire Reports

U.S. Says No to Mexico: U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor rebuffed a formal protest by Mexico over a White House decision to postpone the effective date of a new North American Free Trade Agreement provision. The rule would have given truckers from both countries access to highways throughout border states on either side of the U.S.-Mexico border. Mexican trucks are currently limited in this country to traveling within 20 miles of the border. The impasse sets up a lengthy negotiations process. U.S. officials said more time is needed to study unspecified safety and security issues, implying that Mexican trucks might be hazardous. Mexico subsequently filed a protest under Chapter 20 of NAFTA, only the second such protest lodged since the trade accord took effect two years ago. The first involved complaints by the United Parcel Service shipping firm that Mexico was impeding deliveries.

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