June 14, 2011 3:30 PM, EDT

U.S., Mexico Reportedly Close to Signing Cross-Border Trucking Agreement

The United States and Mexico are close to signing a formal cross-border trucking agreement and could do so as early as this month, according to a Mexican government minister, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

The deal could remove about $2.4 billion in rotating tariffs, put in place by Mexico in retaliation for the U.S. discontinuing a pilot cross-border plan shortly after President Barack Obama took office, Bloomberg said.

Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced a draft agreement to ending the Mexican truck ban after meeting in Washington in March.

Mexican Economy Minister Bruno Ferrari told Bloomberg the two countries were finalizing details and that an agreement could be signed within weeks. Ferrari made his comments at Mexico’s North American Free Trade Agreement office in Ottawa, Canada.

NAFTA, signed in 1994 by the U.S., Mexico and Canada, allowed cross-border access to trucks. The Bush administration ran a cross-border pilot program that the Obama administration suspended in 2009, citing safety another concerns mainly raised by Congress and labor groups.

Mexico will remove 50% of the tariffs once an agreement is signed, and the remaining tariffs once trucks are granted authorization to operate across the border, Ferrari told Bloomberg.