Many decisions come down to risk versus reward, and that’s where we see the Mexican truck issue.

As the U.S. Department of Transportation ponders the next steps at the end of a three-year U.S. pilot program allowing Mexican trucks full access to U.S. roads, it should seriously consider the risks of cutting the trucks’ access.

Because of the U.S.’s tough stance against allowing Mexican trucks access to U.S. roads five years ago, Mexico placed tariffs ranging from 10% to 45% on a number of U.S. items, including apples, grapes, pears, lettuce and other U.S. agricultural items exported to Mexico.

Of course Mexico could do that again if the U.S. does not follow its North American Free Trade Agreement duties to provide full access to Mexican carriers.

That’s a big risk.

The DOT and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must collect a statistically valid sample, about 5,000 truck and driver inspections, before the agency decides whether to permanently open up the U.S. market.

They’ll barely reach that number.

The truth is, very few Mexican truck carriers sent their fleets into the U.S. They likely found it made little financial sense with the transportation alternatives existing in the U.S.

Domestic transportation and some consumers groups favor keeping Mexican trucks out of the U.S. based on competitive and safety concerns, so we suppose that’s the “reward.”

It makes no sense for the U.S. to fight this battle with so little to gain and so much to lose.

Did The Packer get it right? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.