The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a "concept document" outlining a program to allow Mexican trucks to do long-haul trucking in the United States.
DOT said the proposal "prioritizes safety, while satisfying the United States' international obligations" under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
When NAFTA went into effect in 1994, a key provision opened international traffic in a band along the U.S.-Mexico border in 1995 and called for the opening of long-distance truck traffic in 2000, but that process has been delayed.
Under the proposal announced Thursday, passenger and hazardous materials carriers would be excluded from the program, and DOT said "subject to negotiation with Mexico, the number of carrier and truck participants in first phase of program will be managed to ensure adequate oversight."
DOT said carriers and cross-border driver information would be vetted by the U.S. Homeland Security and Justice departments, and there would be carrier safety management programs covering areas such as vehicle maintenance, drug and alcohol testing programs, and driver qualification files.
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