Mexico’s CANACAR transport association has commenced an arbitration action against the US, seeking $30 billion in compensation for Washington’s refusal to fully open the border to Mexican trucks, as required by the North American Free Trade Agreement more than 20 years ago.
Canacar director Jose Refugio Muñoz Lopez said in an interview from Mexico City that the US government, in the wake of the announcement, had expressed interest in reaching a negotiated solution before the case goes to arbitration.
A total of 30,000 Mexican truckers who have been affected by the United States’ non-compliance with the trucking provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement have signed on to the arbitration action.
An undisclosed US-based law firm is representing CANACAR in the case.
Muñoz criticized the so-called Demonstration Project, a cross-border pilot program aimed at facilitating Mexican truckers’ access to US roads, saying that “in no way has it served as a mechanism for U.S. compliance with its requirements under NAFTA,” which entered into force 20 years ago. Nothing in the trucking part of NAFTA required a demonstration program nor anything other than unilateral “national treatment” between the three countries involved in the agreement.
The dispute has been caused by groups such as OOIDA and the Teamsters who have blocked Mexican trucks from the United States with bogus claims of unsafe trucks and drivers.
He said Mexican trucking companies have been forced to make investments in the US and create cargo-transfer zones along the border.
The Canacar chief said President Barack Obama and Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto would address the matter at a meeting scheduled for Feb 19 in Toluca, capital of the central state of Mexico.
Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada, the other member of the NAFTA trade bloc, also is scheduled to attend the meeting.
This post is part of the thread: Mexico Cross Border Pilot Program – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.