October 22, 2011
The first Mexican truck bound for the U.S. interior crossed at the international bridge at Laredo, Texas, on Friday, carrying electronic equipment destined for suburban Dallas and fulfilling a controversial provision of the 1994 North American Free Trade Act.
The move was praised by business leaders on both sides of the Rio Grande, while sign-waving Teamsters Union members in Laredo jeered.
NAFTA called for Mexican trucks to be allowed to travel beyond a six- to 25-mile wide “commercial zone” in the United States by December of 1995.
However, concerns about the safety of Mexican trucks, the opposition of the Teamsters and other labor unions, and, in the past several years, heightened concerns about Mexico’s violent drug war and illegal immigration, have repeatedly delayed the provision from taking effect.
Canadian-based trucks have had free access to U.S. highways since 1982.