NAFTA Roadblock

You correctly reported that an arbitration panel established under the North American Free Trade Agreement issued a unanimous interim ruling that the United States had violated the agreement by unfairly discriminating against Mexican trucking companies [“Panel Rejects Limits on Mexican Trucks,” Nov. 30]. The panel’s decision should come as no great surprise.

What is surprising is that the [Bloomberg News] report you carried stated that Mexican trucks would not have to submit to the same safety inspections required of U.S. hauling firms.

On the contrary, NAFTA expressly authorizes the United States to apply its own safety standards to trucks operating within its territory.

All Mexico has been asking is that Mexican transportation companies be evaluated and approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation on the same terms as are U.S. and Canadian companies. The problem is that the Department of Transportation has arbitrarily refused even to review the applications of Mexican trucking companies to provide service within the U.S.


Mexico can only hope that this roadblock in a trade accord that has been of immense benefit to both our nations will now be removed.


Director, NAFTA Office

Embassy of Mexico