Manuel Gomez, president of the National Bureau of Cargo Transportation (Canacar), said the Fox administration must declare a moratorium on the transportation provisions of the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Gomez said that as long as Mexican trucks are not allowed to enter the United States freely, U.S. trucks should receive the same treatment from Mexico. The Canacar president said a strike would have serious consequences for the country, but that Mexican truckers "cannot continue to submit to discriminatory U.S. laws."
"The last thing we want to do is paralyze the economy, since 80% of all merchandise moved depends on ground transportation," he said.
Just before Thanksgiving, President Bush announced the end to a moratorium and said the United States will open its borders to Mexican trucks starting next year -- but with some restrictions.
The trucks will only be allowed to enter the United States after passing safety inspections, obtaining insurance and when carrying maintenance records from U.S. firms. In addition, drivers will have to submit to drug and alcohol tests.
According to the Mexican government and Canacar, which represents 4,500 companies and 32,000 independent truckers, the requirements are discriminatory.
Canacar said only 30,000 of the 140,000 trucks it represents meet the U.S. requirements today.