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BLOCKING MEXICAN TRUCKS

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  • dorinda moreno
    Here s an interesting article published today in the New York Times. Blocking Mexican Trucks Published: September 11, 2007 The New York Times One way the 1994
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 12, 2007
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      Here's an interesting article published today in the New York Times.
      Blocking Mexican Trucks
      Published: September 11, 2007
      The New York Times
      One way the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement was supposed to
      encourage free and efficient trade was by allowing long-haul trucks
      from Canada, Mexico and the United States to deliver goods throughout
      the three countries. Unfortunately, more than a decade later the
      Teamsters union, the Sierra Club and their allies in Congress are
      still working to keep Mexican trucks out.
      The Teamsters and their environmental allies claim that the trucks
      aren't safe and are dirty. A new pilot program, however, would
      require that any Mexican trucks approved for entry into the United
      States be inspected for safety every three months. Environmental
      regulations that apply to American trucks would also apply to Mexican
      trucks.
      That's not enough to satisfy the Teamsters, which, we suspect, are
      just trying to stave off the competition. And it's not been enough
      for the Sierra Club, which doesn't trust the Bush administration — or
      the Clinton administration before that — to enforce environmental
      standards.
      That stubbornness is counterproductive. Keeping Mexican trucks out
      only keeps transport costs higher, harming American businesses and
      consumers. It sends Mexico the message that the United States doesn't
      stand by its commitments, and it reinforces suspicions that when it
      comes to free trade, the United States only likes it one way.
      Last week, the Department of Transportation gave the first Mexican
      trucking company permission to operate under a one-year pilot program
      that would allow roughly 500 trucks from 100 Mexican carriers onto
      American highways. Congress seems determined to block that progress.
      Today, the Senate is scheduled to vote on an amendment, filed by
      Senator Byron Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, that would deny
      financing for the pilot program next year. The House has already
      approved the cutoff.
      It is of utmost importance to ensure the safety of Mexican trucks —
      or any trucks — driving on American highways. This was underscored
      yesterday by the spectacular crash and explosion of a truck carrying
      explosives in northern Mexico that killed at least 37 people. The
      pilot program would not allow trucks carrying hazardous loads into
      the country. And the Mexican long-haul fleet is much more modern than
      its critics' caricatures.
      Guaranteeing highway safety does not require undermining the nation's
      free trade agreements or its relationship with Mexico. It is time for
      Congress to let Mexican trucks through.


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