US and Mexico cross-border trucking
After a 17-year dispute, U.S. and Mexico have signed a deal to allow their trucks to use each other's roads. A pilot program to allow Mexican trucks to circulate will now resume. This deal is viewed by most as something that would address safety concerns over Mexican vehicles, among other issues. While some Business groups have welcomed this agreement, the US trucking unions have condemned it.
The 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), requested that Mexican trucks have full access to US highways, but they were kept to a border buffer zone. With this, these Mexican vehicles were generally allowed no further that 40km (25 ...view middle of the document...
• Mexican lorry drivers will only be allowed to do cross-border runs, not deliver between US destinations.
• Other requirements will include safety reviews, drug tests, and drivers will be assessed on their English-language proficiency.
• Mexico is to lift half of the tariffs it imposed immediately, with the rest suspended when the first Mexican lorry driver is authorized to travel into the US.
Opponents to this are undoubtedly quite infuriated at this agreement, just as they were in 2007 when the Bush Administration had created a program to allow 100 Mexican trucking companies to haul freight into the United States. According to union leader Jim Hoffa "Opening the border to dangerous trucks at a time of high unemployment and rampant drug violence is a shameful abandonment of the DOT's (US Department of Transportation) duty to protect American citizens from harm and to spend American tax dollars responsibly." He deliberated that the pilot program is concession to multinational corporations that send jobs to Mexico. He also stated that, “It endangers motorists. It ignores the rampant corruption among Mexican law enforcement. It lowers wages and robs jobs from hard-working American truck drivers and warehouse workers.” And if this wasn’t enough, Congressman Peter DeFazio has tabled a bill to block the Obama administration from implementing the program, citing that concerns over safety, security and loss of jobs had not been met.
My opinion(s) on these Issues
The policy of allowing Mexican trucks to operate in the US will impact job opportunities for US truckers, as American companies may decide to hire Mexican drivers and pay at a lower scale. There is also the question for language and literacy, which will undoubtedly create communication barrier and will lead to angry and frustration on many levels. This might trigger the need for translators and while this might create jobs, it may also be seen as additional expenditure on our part. There are the issues of whether these vehicles are kept in good and safe working order: are they properly maintained and inspected, and do they have the required insurance and permits for trucks operated in the US.
Of course when one thinks of trading with Mexico and especially allowing goods to come across the border, the immediate assumption is that there is the potential for drug and immigrant trafficking. The conclusion is also reached that there will be an influx of men, women and children being smuggled to the U.S. for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Whether its guns, drugs, illegal aliens, smuggling it a serious problem as it now stands,...