Welles Orr Discusses End of U.S.-Mexico Trucking Dispute in the Latin America Advisor

"How Significant Is the End of the U.S.-Mexico Trucking Spat?"
Inter-American Dialogue's Latin America Advisor

Welles Orr comments on the significance of the end of the U.S.-Mexico trucking dispute. He says, "Last Friday's border crossing by a Mexican long-haul truck in Laredo, Texas marked an important milestone and, one hopes, ends for good a troubling irritant between the two countries. The timing of this announcement is ironic given the other bit of good trade news—the overdue approval and signing of the free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Full implementation of those deals and what is expected to remain an ironclad resolution to the long-running trucking dispute suggests the United States is determined to fully abide by the terms of trade agreements it signs. These developments couldn't come soon enough—against the backdrop of a painfully anemic economic recovery, along comes export-boosting, job-creating trade pacts and the end to a $2.4 billion dispute.

The practical effect of the new trucking program is the end to retaliatory tariffs imposed on more than 100 product lines coming into Mexico. The big unknown is how many jobs lost due to retaliatory tariffs and displacement by foreign competitors, not to mention product market share, will be fully restored. Expectations are high that trade will return to normal levels in due time."

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