How Will the Mexican Trucking Program Affect American Communities?
Trucking jobs might take a hit. But trade advocates say there's an even greater upside.
The federal government will soon allow Mexican truckers to operate in the
Under the terms of NAFTA, the truckers should have been allowed entry years ago. But that hasn't happened, due to
Last week, however, President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón announced that they had set a path toward resolving the dispute. Eventually, truckers from one country will be able to make runs into the other, and as result, retaliatory tariffs
Half those tariffs will be lifted when a final agreement is signed, and the other half will be repealed when the first Mexican carrier gets authorization to travel in the U.S. Negotiators for both countries are continuing to hammer our the terms of the deal, and a proposed agreement could be ready within a few months.
"This agreement will deliver a program that is safe, secure, efficient and advances the economic interests of both the
Mexican truckers would have to receive clearance from the Department of Transportation to deliver goods into the
Currently, when Mexican carriers deliver goods to the
As a result of the deal, costs for consumers will decrease on both sides of the border. Mexican consumers will save money since they won’t have to pay the retaliatory tariffs on American goods, which will benefit
“This goes back to the idea of more free and efficient commerce, at better prices,” said Nelson Balido, president of the Border Trade Alliance, in an interview with Governing. The organization represents businesses and localities that advocate for policies facilitating U.S.-Mexico trade. “Ultimately, the consumer benefits because the costs go down. Competition is healthy.”
The impact of the program could, however affect American-based trucking jobs. That's because the inefficiency created when Mexican truckers are blocked from continuing their deliveries north creates work for American truckers.
“We simply don't believe
Others who could suffer under the deal are developers who create large logistics facilities in
But the benefits of the program likely offset the effects to those constituencies, says Marney Cox, chief economist at the San Diego Association of Governments, which represents 18 city and county governments. “It’s hard to say that a kink in the supply chain created by a piece of regulation is good for the market,” Cox told Governing.
The deal will increase the speed at which products manufactured in
Cox also said that it’s unclear whether the effect on American truckers will be as drastic as the Teamsters have suggested. Since some northbound Mexican trucks carry products intended for distribution across the