March 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm #2359
U.S. to open highways to Mexican trucks
March 4, 2011 at 1:14 AM by AHN
Vittorio Hernandez C AHN News D.C.., Washington, United States (AHN) C The U.S. and Mexico have reached a proposed agreement that would end the 20-year trucking dispute between the two North American neighbors. U.S. President Barack Obama announced the trucking deal with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who was on a visit to Washington.
Obama said teams from the two nations are crafting details of the agreement, which will be sent to Congress for approval.
Under the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, American and Mexican trucks were allowed the cross the borders, but the U.S. did not allow Mexican trucks to enter because of concerns over safety and environmental standards. American truckers also opposed opening the boundary to Mexican truckers because of its impact on drivers employment.
In response, Mexico slapped punitive tariffs on a number of U.S. goods after American legislators canceled funding for a program that permitted long-haul Mexican trucks to enter the U.S.
Prior to the announcement, relations between Mexico and the U.S. worsened after a U.S. agent was killed in Mexico two weeks ago and State Department cables were leaked by the website Wikileaks. The cables were critical of Mexicos anti-drug battle.
Calderon admitted that Wikileaks release severely damaged Mexicos diplomatic relations with Washington. He also cited one cable leak signed by U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual that described Mexican military officials are having risk-averse habits. Because of the ambassadors comments, Calderon said he planned to bring up the matter of working with Pascual in his meeting with Obama.
Posted on January 12, 2011
Last week, the Obama Administration signaled that it will open up the border to Mexican trucks. There have been countless articles on this, here is one from the Dallas Morning News.
This has been going on for so long, I cant remember the entire history of the dispute. I will try to recap. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), passed I think back in the early 1990s, said Mexican trucks would be given free run of the United States. Currently, Canadian truckers can deliver and backhaul in and out of the U.S. Mexicans cannot; they must stay within a 25 mile commercial zone of the border. Unless they are going right to Canada, then they can go through the U.S. I think Im right on that.
The U.S. never has lived up to the NAFTA agreement. There have been pilot projects, concerns about how safe the Mexican trucks are, etc. In 2009, the Congress withdrew the funding for DOTs pilot project which would allow the Mexican trucks unlimited access to the U.S. President Obama is now reversing that. Who is for it, and who is against it? Well, the Chamber of Commerce is all for it. That is, the large American shippers, as they believe they will be able to ship cheaper due to the increased competition from the Mexicans. Also, many American manufacturers and farmers are for it, not because they want to ship on Mexican trucks, but because their products have been targeted by Mexico with retaliatory tariffs. They hope these tariffs will now be lifted. The American Trucking Association, which mostly represents the mega-carriers, also supports it, although Im not sure why. Maybe they think it will give them access to Mexican drivers, who will be cheaper than American drivers.
The Teamsters are against it. They believe allowing Mexican trucks and drivers unlimited access to the U.S. will lead to Mexicans taking American jobs. Also, the Owner Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) is against it, largely for the same reasons the Teamsters are. Both groups also, express concerns about the safety of the Mexicans trucks. So, what will happen? Will the Mexicans get to run their trucks all over the U.S.? Well, this has been going on for nearly 20 years, it hasnt happened yet, so I wouldnt expect it will happen tomorrow. if ever.
March 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm #5221
Ombama has continued push on his program to let in Mexico trucks that have questionable safety records and emissions violations compared to US trucks. Appears he is bowing to Economic bullying by Mexico in form punitive tariffs on more 10 US export (mostly minor & largely food) items. All the economic weight should have been on US side to correct these tariffs as the US consumes/imports many times more in revenue than it exports. Hopefully the Congress can move to block this hit to US economic recovery, higher highway cost/taxes & our domestic transportation sector.
Groups like the Chamber Commerce/American Mfg-Farming/American Truck Asso are all for it because they hope use cheap Mexican alternate to beat down US suppliers/truckers. Obviously Teamsters & OOIDA truck groups are against it. (see an earlier Jan 2011 article below March one).
This is huge mistake & there is good reason for 20 year block – NAFTA has been one sided trade deal since it began & over last 10 years there has been 300% increase in US truck traffic in USGC because of it as import supply shifted from other country vessel shipments into mexican imports moving in US truck/rail. All the environmental investment cost on US mfg plants wouldnt have created as much emissions as the truck exhaust from diesel trucks/trains ……. and it will be worse with Mexican truck.
Additionally all US taxpayers are picking up past cost and now future cost for Mexico to have these NAFTA advantages because nearly 80% damage to US highways comes from trucks who only pay for 20-% of road cost in taxes. Which is OK to support US logistics & jobs but should be a loud hell-no for subsidizing Mexican imports.
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