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U.S. Proposes Freezing Mexican Trucks Out of New NAFTA

(Greg Quinn, Josh Wingrove & Eric Martin – Bloomberg)

The U.S. has proposed another difficult change to the North American Free Trade Agreement that could eventually prevent long-haul Mexican truckers from operating in the country, according to people familiar with the discussions.

American negotiators asked to remove Mexico’s long-haul industry from a NAFTA chapter on cross-border services, according to an industry official familiar with the proposal who isn’t authorized to speak publicly. That could open the door to restrictions on truckers, as losing NAFTA trade protections and advantages would make it harder for Mexico to challenge any future U.S. requirements on trucks such as new safety checks.

A government official familiar with the text who also can’t speak publicly described it as a broad industry exclusion that came during the last round of talks in October. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment, and hasn’t made its proposals public. Reuters also reported last month that the U.S. was seeking fresh restrictions on long-haul trucks from Mexico, citing a person familiar with discussions. Click here to read