Presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore are being urged by the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) to maintain the moratorium against granting Mexican trucks full access to American highways until compliance with U.S. safety, insurance and competency standards can be assured by Mexican authorities.
The moratorium was established almost five years ago, shortly after the North American Free Trade Agreement was ratified. Currently, Mexican trucks generally are restricted to the commercial trade zone. The Mexican government filed a complaint under the NAFTA treaty against the United States for breach of the NAFTA trucking provisions. The dispute resolution panel is expected to issue its ruling soon, possibly mandating full access.
The NAII has concerns that the newly elected president will face tough decisions early in his administration that could impact the possible numbers of injuries and deaths on American highways.
“Based on the findings of recent government studies, we have concerns about lifting the moratorium,” said Robert Dibblee, NAII senior vice president of government affairs. “Mexican trucks remain a major safety concern and still have out-of-service inspection rates far greater than U.S. trucks. As a trade association whose members write almost half of all the private passenger automobiles and about one third of all large trucks in our country, NAII wants assurances that Mexican trucks meet the standards set by the U.S. government.”
The association sent letters to key staffers on both the Bush and Gore campaigns Oct. 13, outlining some of the safety concerns still unresolved such as less-stringent licensing requirements in Mexico and heavier truck weight limits.
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