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Mapping the New North American Reality: The Road Sector

This brief report serves as the introduction to Mapping the New North American Reality, a series of brief articles written by Canadian, American, and Mexican policy experts exploring the nature of North American economic integration. The purpose of this collection is to advance understanding in a way that would transcend debates centred on traditional concepts of national sovereignty and trade policy. The contributors to this collection include experts from different sectors and fields, and from governments, universities, and NGOs. In this paper Mary Brooks argues that on the trade front, NAFTA has been a huge success, yet road transportation has received inadequate attention despite the obvious and central role trucking plays in trans-NAFTA commerce. Brooks identifies a number of unresolved issues pertaining to road transportation, including immigration restrictions for transport crews, vehicle weight and dimension regulations, rules of cabotage (the right to carry cargo between domestic points), and investment restrictions. Brooks concedes that many of these issues will be difficult to resolve, and were unexpected outcomes of NAFTA. She uses the rest of her paper to identify the milestones that were negotiated, and then evaluates whether these goals were realized.