Borders and trade top agenda for new IRU North American Transportation Forum

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IRU’s new North American Transportation Forum has kicked off with a high-level dialogue between senior government trade figures and carriers from Canada, Mexico and the US. 

Held virtually, the Forum’s inaugural webinar was co-organised with IRU members ATA, the American Trucking Association; CTA, the Canadian Trucking Alliance; and CANACAR, Mexico’s National Trucking Chamber.

The event brought together leading government and road transport executives from the region to look at the rollout of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA/CUSMA), possible future developments and issues affecting transportation and logistics firms.

Government speakers included Luz Maria de la Mora, Mexico’s Undersecretary for Trade; Michael Grant, Canadian Assistant Deputy Minister for the Americas; and Daniel Watson, Assistant US Trade Representative for the Western Hemisphere who outlined USMCA/CUSMA provisions already implemented and those still under development.

After more than two decades of growth under NAFTA, the new USMCA/CUSMA entered into force on July 1, 2020 with updated and modernised trade rules and mechanisms. With 70 percent of North American trade, by value, transported by truck, international road transport has never been more important to North America’s supply chains and its economies.

Road transportation industry speakers commenting and responding to governments in the webinar included Derek Leathers, CEO of US company Werner Enterprises; Mark Seymour, CEO of Canada’s Kriska Transportation Group; and Ramon Medrano Ibarra, CANACAR National President in Mexico.

With dialogues through 2022 and beyond, the North American Transportation Forum will continue to look at cross-border regional road transportation challenges and encourage close collaboration within and beyond the industry to solve them.