BY RONALD BUCHANAN
MEXICO CITY — When Rafael Godínez prepared his trucks for entry to the United States, he painted them with a logo of an eagle bestriding Old Glory and the Mexican tricolor. "The eagle is a national symbol of both countries," he explained, "but it also stands for freedom."
Freedom has been a long time coming for Mexican truckers wanting to ply their trade in the U.S. But after a seven-year wait they are finally being allowed beyond a narrow band across the border. Only in small numbers, however. Godínez's Mexicali-based Transportes Rafa is one of only three Mexican trucking companies so far given permission to take part in a cross-border experiment authorized by the White House. The others are Transportes Olympic, based in the Monterrey suburb of Apodaca, Nuevo León, and Transportes Padilla of Tijuana.
Under the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexican trucks were to have been allowed deep into the U.S. by the beginning...