The North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was introduced in 1994 to allow trucks/lorries from Mexico and the US to pass through the busiest border in the world. However,American unions fearful of their members losing ground and getting undercut by Mexican drivers fought this legislation. For the past 16 years,Mexican truck drivers have had to unload their cargo into exactly the same American trucks so the goods can complete their journey to various US States.
While America was breaking their end of the deal,Mexico responded with equal tenacity. Mexico specially targeted and taxed goods up to 45% coming from US districts where legislators voted for the cumbersome,expensive,and time consuming practice of “switching” over goods from one Mexican truck to an American truck.
This policy,that most hurt consumers on both sides of the border is now a thing of the past. The two countries do more than $400 billion a year in trade and 70% of this trade is delivered by lorry. In addition,with cost going up,oil becoming more expensive,and more American and foreign companies coming to Mexico rather than China to do business,the thought of America breaking their agreement again is political and economic suicide.
While the US and Mexico cannot make up for 16 years of failed and unsustainable policies,they have made some profound progress recently. Last year,Mexico and the US opened 3 new border crossings,the first in a decade. Two more borders crossing are under construction and two more are planned for the near future.
The border is becoming freer and both countries and their residents look to benefit from this common sense approach. Now that trucks/lorries can pass through the respected borders,citizens of both countries can expect less expensive and even fresher goods delivered to them faster. This is great news for the many expats on both sides of the border.