The NAFTA cross-border trucking dispute between the U.S. and Mexico has been an extremely contentious issue on both sides of the border. While opposition to the bi-national pilot program instituted in 2007 has been strong, the program serves an important purpose. In order for the U.S. to be in compliance with NAFTA, the pilot program must restart and continue.
The termination of the pilot program means that Mexico is fully within its rights to impose the tariffs on U.S. exports. Effects of the tariffs are already being felt by producers of a variety of products in the agricultural and industrial sectors of the U.S. economy, many of which had no connection to or interest in the cross-border trucking issue.
Also, the United States’ failure to comply with its obligations under NAFTA damages the reputation of the country and harms its credibility at international negotiating tables. It undermines its ability to pressure trading partners to adhere to their own obligations and responsibilities under various other trade agreements.
On many levels, the reinstatement of the cross-border trucking pilot program is in the United States’ best interests.
For those who missed the first parts of this series on the NAFTA cross-border trucking dispute, the rest of the posts may be found here:
 James M. Roberts, Elimination of U.S. Pilot Truck Program Triggers Mexican Tariffs, No. 2357, pg. 2 (Mar. 24, 2009), http://author.heritage.org/Research/LatinAmerica/upload/wm_2357.pdf.