President Bush has opened the way for Mexicans to invest in U.S.-based trucking companies hauling international cargo and in bus companies operating in the United States.
In a memo released Wednesday, Bush said he will comply with a long-delayed provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement that allows Mexicans to have 100% ownership of such U.S. carriers and bus companies by 1995.
Under that provision, U.S citizens could have 49% ownership in Mexican carriers by 1995, 51% this year and 100% by 2004.
The cross-border investments were delayed when President Clinton refused to implement a separate NAFTA provision that gave Mexican trucks full access to U.S. roadways by January 2000.
A NAFTA panel ruled in February that the United States was violating the treaty by preventing the carriers from operating north of the border and by blocking the investments.
Bush on Tuesday told Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta to begin accepting applications from Mexicans wanting to operate U.S.-based trucking and bus companies.
They must comply with the same federal and state regulations and procedures as carriers owned by Americans, Bush said in the memo.
Under NAFTA, Mexican investments in trucking companies are allowed only for U.S.-based carriers of international cargo, a transportation official said. Those carriers may not ship domestic cargo within the U.S.
Mexicans also can invest in bus companies that take passengers from one U.S. city to another.