First U.S. truck drives deep into Mexico under program

Editors Note: And here chillun, is the reciprocity everyones been yelling about!

A U.S.-owned commercial truck became the first to drive deep into Mexico today, days after the Senate voted to quit funding a program allowing Mexican trucks to do the same in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said a truck owned by El Paso-based Stagecoach Cartage and Distribution entered at Nogales, Mexico, across the border from Nogales, Ariz., about 11 a.m. CDT. U.S. trucks had been banned operating on Mexican roads.

The truck was delivering a load of plastic resin to Obregon, Mexico, about 270 miles from the Arizona border.

A spokesman for the carrier did not immediately respond to a phone message.

“Today is historic. We’re giving U.S. trucking companies the opportunity to compete in a new market that they have never before been allowed to penetrate,” said John Hill, head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted to prevent Mexican trucks from getting more access to U.S. highways by prohibiting spending on an ongoing pilot project. The House has taken similar action. The measures are attached to separate transportation spending bills that must still be reconciled.

A truck owned by Mexican carrier Transportes Olympic crossed the border at Laredo and arrived in North Carolina on Monday under the free trade pilot program.

Mexican trucks have been limited since 1982 to driving up to 25 miles from the U.S.-Mexican border, 75 miles in Arizona.

Trucks from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. were given access to roadways in all three countries under the North American Free Trade Agreement signed in 1993.

But opposition from organized labor and safety groups delayed Mexican trucks from driving further into the U.S.