Mexico wants truck ban lifted

Mexican transportation and communications secretary Pedro Creosol said that restrictions imposed on Mexican trucks entering the United States is a major trade obstacle, and urged the U.S. government to improve the situation, reported. Creosol expressed his concerns to U.S. transportation secretary Norman Mineta at one of several ministerial meetings held this week in the run up to the weekend's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which was held in Mexico. "It's more than just a transportation problem," Creosol said, explaining that it also affects U.S. legislation and the non-discrimination principles of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The U.S. Congress last December approved legislation to give free access to Mexican trucks entering the U.S., a measure that the Mexican government said should have gone into effect in 1995, according to the NAFTA accord. However, the U.S. government in June laid down safety and maintenance standards for Mexican trucks on U.S. highways that include the issuing of drug and alcohol tests to Mexican truckers. Mexico's transportation sector has rejected the measures and has called on the government to impose similar criteria on U.S. truckers entering Mexico. Creosol said that despite the trucking dispute, he saw only a few "limitations" at the U.S.-Mexican border crossings that needed to be improved.

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