Letter Opposing H.R. 6630, which would effectively terminate the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Cross-Border Trucking Program with Mexico
September 8, 2008
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of ever size, sector, and region, urges you to oppose H.R. 6630, which would effectively terminate the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Cross-Border Trucking Program with Mexico.
The Cross-Border Trucking Program allows for carefully scrutinized trucks to operate across the U.S.-Mexico border on a reciprocal basis, and is a long overdue step toward reducing congestion and air pollution at the U.S.-Mexico border while promoting growth and jobs.
The United States promised under NAFTA to open its border to Mexican trucks—with full reciprocity for U.S. carriers—and it is vitally important that the U.S. maintains its commitment. NAFTA dispute settlement panels have consistently ruled that the United States is in violation of its obligations for not implementing the agreement's cross-border trucking provisions, which were to be phased in beginning in 1995. Under the terms of the agreement, it is estimated that Mexico could be entitled to levy retaliatory tariffs against U.S. exports approaching $1 billion, which would greatly undermine the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers, farmers, and service providers in the second largest U.S. export market.
Under NAFTA, trade with Mexico has quadrupled—from $81 billion in 1993 to $332 billion in 2006—according to the Department of Commerce. Trucking is vital to this trade partnership since trucks move more than 80% of the value of our trade with Mexico. The Chamber urges you to oppose H.R. 6630 and may consider using votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten