The Texas Tribune
January 24, 2011
A proposal by the Obama administration that would grant Mexican truckers greater access to Texas roadways — and far beyond — would be a boon to businesses in the state, supporters say. But unions, the Teamsters in particular, say the plan would cost American jobs.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Three of the top five ports for trade between the United States and Mexico are Laredo, El Paso and Houston. Through the first 10 months of 2010, more than $146 billion in trade between the United States and Mexico moved through the Port of Laredo, more than $57 billion through El Paso and $17.5 billion through Houston, ranking the ports No. 1, No. 2 and No. 5, respectively, in terms of trade with Mexico. Overall, the United States traded about $324 billion with Mexico during the same period.
A provision in the original 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement would have allowed long-haul truckers from Mexico to move about the United States without mileage restrictions, but it was never put into effect. Today, tractor-trailers entering the United States from Mexico (and vice versa) are limited to traveling within a 20-mile to 25-mile radius of ports of entry. There, Mexican truckers must drop their goods, which are then picked up by American truckers to be transported to their final destinations.
This month, the Obama administration issued what it called a “concept document” addressing many of the concerns that have blocked full carrying out of the provision.