It’s important for people to live up to the promises they make. It’s important for countries to live up to the promises they make, too. The Obama administration has announced that the United States will finally begin living up to a big promise it made to Mexico 21 years ago. Both nations will be better for it.
The North American Free Trade Agreement, ratified in 1994 by the United States, Canada and Mexico, is the largest trade bloc in the world in terms of the combined purchasing power of the three nations. But one of its provisions called for the U.S. to open its border to long-haul truckers from Mexico and, for 21 years, largely because of the political muscle of the Teamsters union, that provision has never been allowed to take effect.
Now it will. The U-T San Diego reported that the administration will soon invite Mexican trucking companies to apply for permits to make deliveries directly to U.S. destinations. The announcement follows a three-year pilot program that showed that Mexican carriers are every bit as safe as their American and Canadian counterparts.
In its 21 years, NAFTA has quadrupled U.S. trade in goods and services with Canada and Mexico. Finally complying with the trucking provision with Mexico will only increase that positive impact.