President Obama and President Calderón today announced that Mexico and the United States have found a clear path to resolving the cross-border long-haul trucking dispute. This path will allow for the establishment of a reciprocal, phased-in program built on the highest safety standards that will authorize both Mexican and United States long-haul carriers to engage in cross-border operations under NAFTA. Once a final agreement is reached, Mexico will suspend its retaliatory tariffs in stages beginning with reducing tariffs by 50 percent at the signing of an agreement and will suspend the remaining 50 percent when the first Mexican carrier is granted operating authority under the program. Mexico will terminate all current tariffs once the program is normalized. The agreed schedule will not affect the rights and obligations of Mexico or the United States under the NAFTA, including Mexico’s right to apply its retaliatory measures.
This agreement will deliver a program that is safe, secure, efficient, and advances the economic interests of both the United States and Mexico. It also will feature a number of program improvements that are important to both United States and Mexican interests. U.S. and Mexican negotiators are continuing to work through the remaining issues and expect to have a draft final agreement in place very soon. As soon as all of the details are in place, the United States Department of Transportation and USTR will confer with interested members of Congress and publicly share the proposed agreement and seek comment.
During the May 2010 State Visit, President Obama and President Calderón directed the creation of a High-Level Regulatory Cooperation Council to identify areas of mutual interest for regulatory cooperation, with a focus on improving intra-North American commerce and enhancing the competitiveness of North American producers. In September, senior officials from the United States Office of Management and Budget and the Mexican Secretariat of the Economy co-chaired the first meeting of the HLRCC and discussed their shared commitment to regulatory cooperation on key issues that affect both countries. The two sides agreed to work collaboratively to share information about upcoming regulations, identify those regulations that might impede North American competitiveness, and consider joint work in specific sectors.
Today, the U.S. and Mexico finalized Terms of Reference for the Council, which set out six major goals:
- Making regulations more compatible and simple;
- Increasing regulatory transparency;
- Promoting public participation;
- Improving the analysis of regulations;
- Linking regulatory cooperation to improved border-crossing and customs procedures; and
- Increasing technical cooperation.
As follow-up, the Council will create a Work Plan to implement these goals. Both governments will be reviewing the Council’s progress on a regular basis.
Clean Energy and Climate Change:
President Obama and President Calderón reaffirmed the strong commitment of both the United States and Mexico to combat global climate change and create markets for clean energy technologies. President Obama applauded President Calderón’s leadership on the successful outcome of the climate negotiations in Cancún, including the creation of the Green Climate Fund, a new multilateral vehicle to deliver financing to address climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. The United States strongly supports Mexico’s ongoing leadership in this area. The Presidents agreed to work together this year to implement the other major agreements reached in Cancún, including on transparency, technology, adaption, and forest preservation.
The leaders welcomed the achievement of significant milestones under the Bilateral Framework on Clean Energy and Climate Change, including plans for cooperation on mapping of wind resources in Mexico, and wind turbine testing and design. Mexico and the United States continue to work together, with Canada, to complete by April 2012 a North American Carbon Storage Atlas under the North American Carbon Atlas Partnership (NACAP). President Calderón and President Obama noted progress on the Cross Border Electricity Task Force to promote a bilateral renewable energy market, increase grid reliability and resiliency, and make energy use more efficient in both countries.
Transboundary Energy Negotiations:
Today, President Obama and President Calderón reaffirmed the desire of the United States and of Mexico to conclude an agreement on transboundary reservoirs. In May 2010, the Presidents issued made a joint commitment to the safe, efficient, and equitable exploitation of transboundary reservoirs with the highest degree of safety and environmental standards, and the two governments began work on a transboundary agreement. The two leaders have acknowledged the energy security benefits to both countries of responsible stewardship and development of these resources and the high level of significance of completing such an agreement for both countries. President Obama and President Calderón both reiterated their commitment to conclude these negotiations by the end of 2011.