U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced two modifications to the moratorium on new grants of authority to Mexican carriers in accordance with NAFTA. The actions will liberalize restrictions on investment by citizens of Mexico in U.S. truck and bus services.
The Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will now be able to process applications from Mexican carriers for authority to fully own and operate companies in the U.S. that transport international cargo between points in the U.S. and provide bus services between points in the U.S.
"President Bush has made a firm commitment to implement the NAFTA provisions, and our action today is an important example of how we are moving to fulfill that commitment," Mineta said. "Liberalizing investment opportunities in both the U.S. and Mexico will help promote economic growth and create new jobs in transportation services."
NAFTA allows citizens of Mexico to establish businesses in the U.S. to provide truck services for point-to-point transportation of international cargo in the U.S. as of December 1995, and for bus services between points in the U.S. as of January 2001. The U.S. had delayed implementation of these provisions.
Mexican-owned companies established in the U.S. under the NAFTA provision will operate like any U.S. motor carrier: they will be subject to the same laws, regulations and procedures that apply to U.S. and Canadian motor carriers companies operating in the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Transportation was prohibited from issuing new grants of operating authority to Mexican carriers under a moratorium imposed under the Bus Regulatory Reform Act of 1982 and continued by the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995.
By modifying the moratorium, the President authorized the Secretary of Transportation to accept and process applications for operating authority submitted by companies located in the U.S. that are owned by citizens of Mexico, effective June 5. Mineta, in turn, delegated authority to process applications to the FMCSA.
Consistent with NAFTA's provisions, U.S. citizens are already permitted 51% ownership of similar Mexican companies. U.S. citizens will be permitted complete ownership of these Mexican companies beginning Jan. 1, 2004.