U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications [November 9, 2010]   [open pdf - 320KB]

"The current trade issue of most concern to Members of Congress involves NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] trucking provisions. Under NAFTA, Mexican commercial trucks were to have been given full access throughout the United States by 2000 but the United States did not implement these provisions due to alleged safety concerns. Mexico objected and a NAFTA dispute resolution panel supported Mexico's position in 2001. In 2009, the Mexican government began imposing retaliatory tariffs on certain U.S. products with a value of $2.4 billion in exports to Mexico. Numerous Members of Congress continue to oppose the implementation of the trucking provisions because they are concerned about the safety of Mexican trucks in the United States, while others support a resolution to the issue. They argue that Mexico's retaliatory tariffs are having strong negative effects on local U.S. industries and affecting U.S. jobs, especially in the agricultural sectors. They also argue that the United States is in violation of NAFTA by not implementing these provisions. Also of interest to many policymakers are the economic disparity between the two countries and migration issues […]. President Obama underscored his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform in the United States while President Calderón stated that his administration was committed to creating more job and educational opportunities in Mexico."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32934
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