Monday, February 17, 2014

México: Canacar Transport Association Seeks $30 Billion from US Via Arbitration

According to The Latin American Tribune, the Canacar Transport Association has commenced an arbitration action against the United States, seeking $30 billion in compensation for Washington’s refusal to fully open the border to Mexican trucks, according to Saturday’s issue (February 15) of Excelsior.

Canacar director José Refugio Muñoz Lopez said in an interview with Excelsior that the Obama Administration had expressed interest in reaching a negotiated solution before the case goes to arbitration.

A total of 30,000 Mexican truckers affected by the US’ non-compliance with the trucking provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have signed on to the arbitration action.

The paper said a US-based law firm was representing Canacar in the case.

COMMENT: Muñoz criticized the so-called Demonstration Project, a cross-border pilot program aimed at facilitating Mexican truckers’ access to US roadways, saying that “in no way has it served as a mechanism for US compliance with its requirements under NAFTA,” which was entered into force 20 years ago.

Muñoz said Mexican trucking companies have been forced to make investments in the United States and create cargo-transfer zones along the border.

The Canacar chief said President Barack Obama and Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto would address the matter at a meeting scheduled for February 19 in Toluca, capital of the central state of México.

Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada, the other member of the NAFTA trade bloc, is also scheduled to attend the meeting.