Mexican Trucks May Roll Again
You may be aware of a rift over trucking between the U.S and Mexico. President Bush had opened up the border with a demonstration pilot project that was supposed to open up U.S. roadways to trucks from Mexico. But safety advocates argued that the trucks in many cases, didn’t meet the minimum expectations of safety. U.S. labor feared it would lose jobs to Mexican drivers.
Then the opening was stalled in 2007.
Last March, Congress cut off the pilot program which stopped a select number of trucks from Mexico from crossing the border. When it stopped funding, the Mexican government, in retaliation, slapped a $2.4 billion in tariffs on about 90 U.S. products. Mexico argued that the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1995, was supposed to open cross-border trucking.
The Obama administration is hinting that it may decide to re-open the U.S. border to trucks from Mexico with some new conditions. The Office of the Inspector General says the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must improve the safety of Mexico-domiciled trucks.
In a report issued last September, the Office of the Inspector General says there needs to be a sufficient database to allow the monitoring of Mexican carriers for safety as well as drivers. nd there needs to be a U.S. presence at the border to conduct meaningful bus inspections. With about $400 billion in bilateral trade between the two countries from fruit and vegetables to toilet paper, expect to see trucks from Mexico soon moving freely throughout the U.S. Let’s just hope that Congress insists they do so safely.