In testimony Thursday before the House Agriculture Committee, Sam Carney, a pork producer from Adair, Iowa, and immediate past president of the National Pork Producers Council, urged Congress to approve a U.S. Department of Transportation program that will allow Mexican trucks to haul goods into the United States.

Implementation of the program will resolve a long-standing North American Free Trade Agreement dispute between the United States and Mexico, which placed tariffs on $2.4 billion of U.S. goods, including pork. The tariffs are in retaliation for the failure of the United States to live up to its NAFTA obligation on trucking.

Meanwhile, a deal announced in March by the Obama administration is moving closer to allowing trucks from Mexico to enter the United States, according to Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary. Final details of the approval hinge on safety aspects of the incoming Mexican trucks. The final rules could be announced soon, according to LaHood.

The deal is facing resistance from some U.S. lawmakers, including  Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., W.Va.). Rockefeller says final rules on the trucking issue must be written in a way to ensure the safety of Mexican trucks. Rockefeller is also concerned that U.S. companies, as well as jobs, are protected

"The cross-border trucking program must be done in a way that does not hurt U.S. companies or make our highways less safe," Rockefeller said in a letter to the Obama administration officials. "I need assurances that this new plan will meet those criteria before I can support this initiative."

Source: NPPC, Dow Jones Newswire