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May 3, 2007 11:00 AM, EDT

House Sets Some Restrictions on Mexican-Trucks Plan

Mexican trucking companies would be barred from handling U.S. domestic shipments, under a bill approved by the House Transportation Committee, Bloomberg reported.

The measure passed Wednesday marks the latest congressional attempt to make it more difficult for Mexican trucks to have free access to U.S. roads under the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.

Besides prohibiting Mexican trucks from moving loads between two U.S. points, it would also require Mexican companies to prove that their drivers are proficient in English, Bloomberg said.

Representative John Duncan (R-Tenn.) said that only two to six U.S. trucking companies have expressed interest in cross-border deliveries to Mexico, while about 800 Mexican companies have told DOT they would want to drive north of the border.

DOT said this week it would delay its plan, in which a maximum of 1,000 Mexican trucks would be allowed U.S. access, and take public comments on it this month.