Mexico to Lift Retaliatory Tariffs as U.S. Approves First Cross-Border Permit for a Mexican Trucking Company

On October 14, 2011, Bloomberg Newsreported that Mexico promised to lift tariffs on 99 U.S. commodities following the approval for the first cross-border permit for a Mexican trucking company based on the agreement reached in March. Mexico had lifted 50% of tariffs affecting $2.4 billion of goods after the U.S. agreement to implement the permit program and now will eliminate the remaining half. The tariffs applied to apples, grapes, pears, potatoes, port and other products. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) granted the permit to Transportes Olympic, based in Monterrey, Mexico, after an "exhaustive review" of the company's operation in Mexico to ensure that it meets U.S. standards.  

The permit program resolves a conflict that dates back to December 1995 when the U.S. cited safety concerns to block North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules allowing Mexican trucks to cross beyond a 25-mile border zone. 
Under the program, Mexican trucks can take cargo to a U.S. city and pick up a load and return to Mexico, similar to rules for Canadian trucks. However, Mexican trucks cannot deliver cargo between U.S. cities. U.S. trucks will receive the same treatment in Mexico. 

As for the safety concerns, Mexican trucks must comply with all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and have monitoring systems to track hours on the road.