Truckers Protest Program Allowing Mexican Carriers on U.S. Roads

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LAREDO, Texas (AP) - No Mexican trucks have yet arrived across the border as part of pilot program allowing them to transport cargo anywhere in the United States.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, says 38 Mexican firms are poised for U.S. permits.

The U.S. Transportation Department issued the first permit Thursday to Transportes Olympic, based in a suburb of Monterrey, Mexico.

It won the permit after Mexico granted authority to Stagecoach Cartage & Distribution of El Paso, Texas, to travel anywhere in Mexico.

Officials say both companies can cross the border immediately but may not do so for several days while they determine new routes.

The U.S. plans to give as many as 25 Mexican firms permission by the end of September and add another 25 companies each month until hitting 100 by the end of this year.

Mexico has also committed to allow as many as 100 U.S. firms anywhere in Mexico by the end of this year.

Freight and delivery service truck drivers in California and Texas have denounced the program allowing Mexican trucks in the country.

They contend the trucks are dangerous and the move is unfair.