MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's Trade Ministry said late on Tuesday it
had requested the
creation of a North American Free Trade Agreement panel to intervene in a long-running
fight to open the U.S. border to Mexican truckers.
Mexican trucks are prohibited from passing beyond U.S. border towns because of what
Mexican officials say is foot-dragging from the U.S. side in implementing a programmed border
opening established in NAFTA.
"The ministry said that as of Dec. 18, 1995, the United States should have authorized Mexican
vehicles access to its territory," the ministry said in a statement.
It added that Mexicans should have been allowed to invest in cross-border transportation
projects since Jan. 1, 1997.
"Despite multiple meetings between officials from both countries, the United States has still not
eliminated the restrictions it unilaterally adopted," the ministry said.
The request for a new arbitration panel is the ministry's latest and final step after three previous
attempts through NAFTA to open the border, it said.
NAFTA established three options to resolve disputes, first through consultations, then a
NAFTA commission and finally an independent arbitration panel, which gives a final decision.
Copyright 1998 Reuters.