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Congressman Calls for Tighter Mexican Truck Restrictions in ‘New’ NAFTA

A guidance introduced by a U.S. congressman says any replacement of NAFTA should tighten restrictions on Mexican carriers entering the U.S.

Specifically, Rep. Peter DeFazio’s (D-Oregon) “Blueprint for America’s New Trade Policy,” lays principles for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. The resolution stipulates that a NAFTA replacement “should require all foreign service providers’ vehicles and drivers entering the United States to meet all United States highway safety and environmental standards before being granted access to and use of United States distribution and transportation systems.”

Such language bucks a 2016-announced DOT policy to accept Mexico’s inspection standards for Mexican carriers who’ve obtained U.S. operating authority from FMCSA, reports CCJ magazine.

The resolution, which is not binding, calls for President Trump to initiate the renegotiation of NAFTA no later than June 1 . All of the provisions included in the resolution must be agreed to by Mexico, Canada and the U.S. before the agreement can be approved.

If negotiations are not completed and all the provisions outlined in the resolution agreed to within one year of beginning talks, the resolution directs the president to consider withdrawing the U.S. from NAFTA.

Meanwhile, a federal court is slated to hear arguments March 15 against the 2014 FMCSA policy allowing Mexican carriers to apply for long-haul operating authority in the U.S.

The DOT has faced an upward fight to implement NAFTA’s trucking provisions. Congress defunded its first pilot program in 2009, but the DOT began a second one after Mexico imposed more than $2 billion in retaliatory tariffs for not complying with agreement. Both pilot programs weathered extensive legal battles.

Nearly two years ago, the DOT opened the border following its final report to Congress on Mexican carriers’ safety.

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