US and Mexico Set Border Talks

Following a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dispute resolution panel ruling that the United States had failed to open the US/Mexico border to Mexican trucking, the issue was added to the agenda for President Bush's February 16 trip to Mexico and his meeting with President Fox.

Currently, the United States limits Mexican trucks to commercial zones along the border. Such zones run from two to 20 miles inland from the border. Under NAFTA, the border was to be opened and Mexican trucks were to have full access to US markets by January 1, 2000.

David DeCarme, chief of the Maritime and Surface Division of the Department of Transportation's Office of International Transportation and Trade, has announced that US transportation and trade officials will meet with their Mexican counterparts within 30 days to begin talks on opening up US borders to Mexican trucking. DeCarme's office negotiated the land transportation provisions of NAFTA.

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