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US and Mexico End Decades-Long Trucking Dispute, Boost Trade

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(MEXICO CITY) -- The United States and Mexico reached an agreement Wednesday to end a ban on Mexican trucks entering the U.S., which lasted nearly two decades.  Putting an end to the measure will cut punitive tariffs by half within the next 10 days and remove the rest on about $2.4 billion worth of U.S. products by the end of this summer, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Mexican Communications and Transportation Minister Dionisio Perez-Jacome signed the agreement in Mexico City Wednesday.  LaHood's outlook on trade was a positive one.

"The agreements signed today are a win for roadway safety and they are a win for trade," he said in a statement Wednesday.

The expectation is that road safety will improve under the terms of the agreement.  The pact requires that Mexican trucks carry monitoring systems that will track hours of service and routes; drivers partake in tests of their ability to read and understand English and U.S. traffic signs; drivers take drug test on a regular basis and that they allow for reviews of driving records.  U.S. drivers and trucks will comply under the same terms in Mexico.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Wednesday lauded the agreement to end the ban and boost exports to Mexico.

"This is a vital step toward a more efficient U.S.-Mexico border," said Chamber president and CEO, Thomas J. Donahue.  "We urge Congress to support this agreement and let this dispute be brought to an end."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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