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Mexico to U.S.: Allow cross-border trucking

  • Safety, union concerns led to U.S. non-compliance on cross-border trucking under NAFTA
  • It was to begin in 1995
  • Report: Mexico raised tariffs on 90 U.S. products worth at least $400M since last March
  • U.S. Trade Representative Kirk addressed issue with Mexican President Calderon recently
  • Mexico
  • Felipe Calderon

Washington (CNN) -- Mexico asked the United States to move forward with creating a proposal to end a ban on cross-border trucking in violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"We continue searching for any opportunity for dialogue and interaction with the (Obama) administration and Congress," The Mexican Embassy said in a statement Tuesday, according to Mexico's official Notimex news agency. "We urge them to present a specific proposal to resolve the trucking impasse."

Under NAFTA, cross-border trucking that would allow Mexican big rigs onto U.S. highways was supposed to begin in 1995. But safety and union concerns led to the United States' non-compliance.

A pilot program that breathed life back into the issue was implemented briefly, but canceled a year ago because of lack of funding.

In retaliation, Mexico raised tariffs on 90 U.S. products worth at least $400 million since last March, according to Notimex.

"We understand the sense of urgency, we're working as fast and conscientiously as possible to see if we can reach an acceptable resolution," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said at the National Press Club Tuesday.

Kirk addressed the issue directly with Mexican President Felipe Calderon during a recent visit to Mexico.

Mexico acknowledged that the United States has expressed a commitment to resolving the issue, but wants a specific set of actions, the Mexican Embassy said.