Obama, Calderon make progress on trucking dispute

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 21, 2011 2:49 PM
Obama, Calderon make progress on trucking dispute

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon have agreed on a way to solve a long-simmering cross-border trucking dispute that has hurt trade between their two countries, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

Obama will announce at a press conference with Calderon following their White House meeting that they have "found a clear path to resolving the cross-border long-haul trucking dispute," the official said.

Calderon's government last year retaliated with tariffs on a number of U.S. goods after U.S. lawmakers canceled funding for a pilot program that allowed long-haul Mexican trucks to circulate in the United States.

"This path will allow for the establishment of a reciprocal, phased-in program ... that will authorize both Mexican and United States long-haul carriers to engage in cross-border operations," the official said.

The plan, which requires congressional approval, will be ready to go before U.S. lawmakers in late March or early April, the official said. If agreed, it will boost growth on both sides of the order.

"It will lift tariffs on more than $2 billion of U.S. good, increasing U.S. exports to Mexico and expanding jobs on both sides of the border," the official said.

(Reporting by Alister Bull; editing by Steve Holland)