Life and Family

Doing Your Job

I am worried about the United States opening the border to the Mexican trucks? Will this affect Canadian jobs and pay rates?

Mexican truckers wonít have a dramatic effect on Canadian jobs or rates in the near future, but that doesnít mean they wonít eventually play a role in determining how we do business here in Canada. Itís expected that Mexican carriers will eventually dominate the cross-border market between the U.S. and Mexico, especially on the shorter routes, largely because theyíll likely work for less than their American counterparts. In a highly competitive market, itís usually price that determines who gets the work.

What that suggests is that Canada wonít see much direct competition from the Mexicans, but as a result of the Mexican competition, more American carriers might shift their focus to the north, adding a few more names to the list of carriers competing for the Canada/U.S. cross-border business.

Thanks largely to the vastly deflated Canadian dollar, Canadian carriers are more price competitive than the Americans, but anything can happen if the dollar begins to gain strength against the Yankee buck. Donít hold your breath on that front though. It seems to be a Canadian government policy to keep the dollar low so as to offer Canadians a competitive advantage over the Americans.

So, the short answer to your questions is ďnot much, at least in the short term.Ē Long-term predictions are harder to make, but still, it isnít likely that Mexico will be able to produce a sufficient quantity of English-speaking truck drivers to make a significant dent the U.S./Canadian market anytime soon.

Jim Park