Mexican trucks crossing Mexican border

A Notice of Arbitration by Mexican trucking association Canacar, filed in 2009, has not led the association to file for arbitration, according to the U.S. Department of State. That statement refutes earlier reports.

The Exelsior, a Mexico City daily, in a February 15, 2014, story quoted association director Jose Refugtio Munoz as saying that Canacar recently commenced arbitration seeking $30 billion in compensation.

The 2009 notice centered on Canacar’s contention that member companies lost money because United States did not uphold the North American Free Trade Agreement. The association director, Jose Refugio Munoz, said that the U.S. violated NAFTA by refusing to open its borders.

The association’s 2009 notice sought $6 billion in compensation. The notice claimed that member companies lost money because of the U.S. not adhering to NAFTA, but Canacar has taken no further action.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is nearing the end of a cross-border pilot program with Mexico. The program began in October 2011 and will end in October of this year. Over the course of the program, the agency had admitted 13 carriers to the program. Decisions on admittance for four additional carriers are pending.

Participants in the program are subject to inspection, which the FMCSA will use as data to study the effectiveness of the program. The agency hoped to achieve 4,100 inspections by the end of the three-year pilot but have already passed that number.

Throughout the pilot, most Mexican participants have limited their travel to border states, probably due to overhead costs associated with long-distance trucking. Despite that, Canacar has argued that the United States is limiting economic opportunity for Mexican trucking companies by keeping its borders closed to most carriers.

“If the U.S. Complies with its NAFTA obligations, it would open up a huge market for Mexican carriers to utilize their competitive advantage,” the association stated in its 2009 notice of arbitration.

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