MEXICO CITY (Reuters) — Mexico said on Sunday it expects its first truck to cross into U.S. territory in about four months, a move that would end a long-standing cross-border trucking dispute with its main trade partner.
President Barack Obama said on Thursday that the United States and Mexico had finally found a “clear path” to resolving the dispute although the proposal has yet to be approved by U.S. lawmakers.
The proposal could be ready for congressional scrutiny later this month or in April.
“The date we are expecting when a truck can definitely cross … is in approximately four months,” Mexico’s Communications andTransport Minister Dionisio Perez-Jacome told reporters.
Economy Minister Bruno Ferrari said at the same news conference that the trucking deal between the two countries could be signed by the end of May of mid-June.
“As soon as the inking of the deal is announced, we would lift 50 percent of the tariffs,” Ferrari said referring to the duties that Mexico has slapped on a rotating list of U.S. products starting in March 2009.
The tariffs were the result of U.S. lawmakers blocking funding for a plan to gradually allow Mexican trucks into the United States and meeting a condition of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the United States, Mexico andCanada.
The retaliatory tariffs, which Washington says have caused about $2 billion in commercial losses, have been temporarily levied on goods ranging from strawberries to Christmas trees and pork.
(Reporting by Jean Luis Arce; Editing by Eric Walsh)