Maryland truck accident attorneys reported in an earlier post that the recent budget bill passed by Congress ended a program that allowed foreign truckers to transport goods into the United States. The American trucking lobby cited safety concerns as the reason for their opposition to the program. When the Congress ended the program, the Teamsters Union celebrated a victory. The Mexican government, however, viewed the end of the program as protectionist fiscal policy that would harm its domestic economy.
In response to the actions of the United States, Mexico announced plans to place heavy tariffs on imported U.S. goods. Mexico is the third largest export market for U.S. goods behind Canada and China, and is the second largest consumer of American agricultural products. In 2008, the U.S. exported $11 billion in food products to Mexico and $63 billion dollars of machinery, automobile and other transportation equipment. The Mexican tariff affects American fruits, vegetables, wine, juices, sunglasses, toothpaste and coffee and would subject some of these products to a 45 percent charge.
In an attempt to avoid a larger trade dispute, U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, may reverse the Teamsters’ victory. LaHood is currently working on plans that would revive the cross border trucking program in response to the Mexican tariff on American goods. LaHood is currently meeting with lawmakers in an attempt to restore the cross border trucking program in a manner that would address legislators’ concerns over safety.
Maryland accident attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC will continue to monitor this potential legislation.