The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) has applauded President George W. Bush's recent decision to allow Mexican trucks to operate freely on U.S. roadways.

"We congratulate President Bush on the leadership that he provided in implementing the provisions of NAFTA and allowing the application process to move forward," ATA president & CEO William Canary said. "This will only help further trade relations between our two countries."

However, Canary noted that express package carriers in Mexico are not a part of the new standards, and that the U.S. government needs to move forward on that issue.

Canary added that trucking plays an important role in the NAFTA trade relationship by moving over 80% of the value of freight between the United States and Mexico.