The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) recently joined hands with more than 100 trade associations in writing a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging him to maintain NAFTA’s cross-border trucking provisions in any renegotiated agreement. Doing away with NAFTA trucking would adversely affect businesses, said the letter.
As US manufacturers, farmers and agribusinesses, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, distributors, and transportation and logistics providers utilize truck transportation to haul products across the US-Mexican border, eliminating NAFTA trucking, including any investment protections, would have a long-term negative impact on businesses, an AAFA press release said quoting the letter.
Increasing trade in both directions is putting more and more pressure on US southern border land ports and therefore, permitting Mexican carriers to haul freight beyond the border zones will help alleviate some of the congestion at the border, creating more efficiency, the letter said.
Mexican carriers and drivers are not permitted to haul domestic US freight, but work in tandem with their US motor carrier partners, said AAFA. The Mexican trucking program is not an open-door policy that permits all Mexican trucking companies to haul freight beyond the border zones. Mexican carriers undergo a case-by-case review process before the US Department of Transportation grants them authority to operate.