Several industry groups want a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal to retain a cross-border trucking provision, as removing it would be detrimental to the U.S. agriculture, logistics and manufacturing industries.
The consortium of more than 100 trade bodies, including the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), urged U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to ensure the inclusion of NAFTA trucking in any renegotiated deal with Canada and Mexico.
The U.S., Canada and Mexico have entered into the fifth round of discussions. While it seems that negotiations have come this far, the parties were unable to work out their differences. This led American industries to worry over the future of cross-border cargo transportation, whether by freight air, railway or trucks.
The consortium believes that congestion on U.S. southern border land ports can be resolved by allowing Mexican freight carriers to ship beyond the border zones. According to the AAFA, the U.S. restricts Mexican companies to move domestic freight exclusively. Instead, they work together with U.S. freight partners. If the new NAFTA deal eliminates this arrangement, it will come at a time when trucking shipments are on a growth streak.
A logistics consulting provider helps your trucking business to execute an effective distribution strategy. Aside from this, other factors have influenced a 9.9% increase in U.S. truck tonnage in October year over year, according to Bob Costello, American Trucking Associations chief economist.
Costello said that consumption, manufacturing output and better inventory levels across the supply chain contribute to the increase. Truck shipment has also been on an uptick in the past four months. This indicates “…that retailers are expecting a good holiday spending season,” he added.
The NAFTA trade partners should find a common ground on certain issues, as the fate of the countries’ transportation and logistics sectors hangs on the balance.