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article imageMexican trucks ready to roll

By Chris V. Thangham     Sep 3, 2007 in Politics
Bush Government has given permission to 100 Mexican trucking companies to haul their cargo anywhere in the US for the next year. The Teamsters Union and environmental groups severely oppose it but it seems they will have no say in this.
This is a follow up article to our Picasso's DJ article, "First Mexican Trucks Scheduled to Cross U.S. Border Sept. 1". It was originally planned on September 1, then delayed because of a lawsuit filed by the Teamsters Union and Sierra Environmental group.
The White House cited North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as
the reason for allowing Mexican trucks to haul their cargo anywhere in the US. Failing to do so will hurt the NAFTA policy. Initially the White House said it would open the border to the Mexican carriers Saturday, but legal action filed by the Teamsters Union and environmental groups led to the delay. Now the White House has pushed back until Thursday to open the southern border to Mexican trucks and buses.
The Teamsters Union and environmental groups file a case with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on last Friday. They wanted to block the Mexican trucks and buses, citing safety and environmental concerns. The Government cannot have one law for the US citizens and another for the Mexican trucks and buses. Since only regularly inspected trucks are allowed on U.S. roads, we have to wait and see how the traffic cops will respond to Mexican trucks, which hardly have any regulations in Mexico.
The court however denied the Teamsters Union and environment groups’ request, thus giving a green light to Bush administration to allow as many 100 Mexican truck companies to freely haul their cargo in the US for the next year. This will be a pilot program; later the government will allow even more trucking companies.
Representatives of the Teamsters did not return calls for comment on the ruling. A Sierra Club spokeswoman declined immediate comment to The Associated Press.
The Labor, industry and environmental groups have been battling against the Mexican vehicles on U.S. roads since NAFTA officially went into effect January 1, 1994. The Teamsters Union says the Mexican vehicles are very dangerous and pose a significant threat to the US drivers. The government says it has a program by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration that send US Inspectors to Mexico to examine trucks and drivers.
Mexico has claimed the United States is not meeting its NAFTA obligations, and in February 2001, a five-person international arbitration panel that included two Americans, agreed.
Bush has been trying to open the 1,952 mile border to Mexican buses and trucks for a long time, a June 2004 Supreme Court decision made it easy for him to remove any last barriers.
Till now, the Mexican truck were able to deliver the goods in the commercial zone only, and then the US trucks pick up the good for delivery throughout the States.
It is another inane decision by George Bush, getting products from overseas is one thing and to make them deliver in their own trucks is outlandish. If there is a shortage of trucks in the US one can understand, now thanks to Bush we will see more dangerous trucks and drivers and making thousands of US Truck drivers jobs obsolete. I am sure there will be some corporate influence behind this decision, only they can profit while the rest of the US have to incur the losses and damages.
What do you think about this decision by George Bush? Does it help or hurt the US economy?
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