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US and Mexico share a common border and many common interest but a dispute over trade issue is threatening to cause apparently serious rift that could hurt both countries bottom -- chief Washington correspondent Jim Angle explains.
Congress has ignited a trade skirmish with Mexico that everyone hopes will stop short of war over the issue of Mexican trucks.
When NAFTA was signed in 1994.
The US promised to give Mexican trucks full access to US markets but fifteen years later it's still hasn't happened.
Right now -- you know these trade agreements are contracts.
And if the decide breaks -- contractors we put cuts so after congress recently killed a pilot program that had allowed some drugs in Mexico decided to retaliate.
By raising duties on two point four billion dollars in the US exports farmers and workers across the country are gonna pay a price.
If that goes forward that pilot program for truck ran for the last eighteen months during which 98 Mexican trucks made 1900.
Troops beyond the border region all without safety problems.
But Democrats including senator Byron Dorgan -- a provision in the recently pass spending bill to kill that program for broader concerns.
There are not equivalent standards that most central repository of records.
So that we would know what drivers' records or what accident reports are in the country of Mexico.
And the Teamsters union has long objected saying Mexican trucks are unsafe.
But others say this is more of a political issue than one about safety we're seeing a lot of union driven provisions in Washington.
These days not not just yet trucking issue but that.
Provisions which actually.
It will cost us American jobs after repeated inquiries no one could point to any unsafe incidents Mexican officials say that's because there are none.
And the US chamber of commerce agrees these were some of the most inspected trucks in the world.
And the records show that they perform very well senator Dorgan seemed upset in part because he argues Mexico is getting more out of NAFTA at the US is.
Selling a 66 billion dollars more every year then resell them.
What I say is they have a responsibility by far more in American goods.
Because we have a huge and abiding deficit every year with Mexico and we should not allow that to stand.
But the chamber of commerce -- Mexico's our second biggest export market and that if it weren't for all the oil we buy we actually come out ahead.
In manufactured goods we have a surplus with Mexico we send all kinds of a sophisticated manufactured goods capital goods to Mexico.
And we also sell billions of dollars worth of American agricultural products to Mexico.
Mexican officials say this is protectionism pure and simple.
Though the White House knew in advance about the effort to kill the pilot program and that Mexico would retaliate it made no effort to stop it.
But now that some American exporters could be hurt the administration's worried about a trade war and called resolving this dispute.
An important priority.
Brett Jim thanks.
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