Looks like the U.S. and Mexico have come up with a solution to at least one of their many disputes. After 20 years of debate, President Obama laid out a plan today during his meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon to allow Mexican trucks to use U.S. highways, the BBC reports. Yes, this apparently took 20 years to resolve.
Mexican trucks' use of U.S. highways was previously permitted by the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, but concerns for the safety and environmental standards of the trucks drove the U.S. to ban them. The AFP points out that "the issue has been the subject of fierce political wrangling, with US truckers arguing it would cost jobs in southwestern states and amid fears over border security.Importers, meanwhile, argue the deal would throw open opportunities for new cross-border business."
The two presidents' agreement today says Mexico will improve the safety and environmental standards of their trucks before they will be allowed over the border. Writing for the Cato Institute, Daniel Griswold praises the deal but wonders if it will actually be carried out, noting the obstacles it faced, such as concerns for truck safety and opposition from the Teamsters Union during the Clinton and Bush administrations. Barrons blogger Teresa Rivas notes that the Transportation Department aims to provide Congress with the new agreement by the end of this month or the beginning of the next. It will then be up to Congress to decide whether this decades-old proposal will finally take shape.
How about a solution to the drug war, guys?