It is amazing that the United States of America bows down to economic pressures from a third world country to allow hundreds, if not thousands, of foreign trucks and their drivers into the country to take freight out of US driver’s trailers. This after the American people, and congress, spoke and stopped the initial Mexican Border Pilot Program the first time. Mexico responded by placing retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports. Under the new agreement, half the tariffs will be lifted as soon as the deal is signed, and the remainder once the first Mexican truck is allowed to enter the US. Some may call this tough politics, but it sure sounds like blackmail to me.
This new so called pilot program has a couple of new twists though. First off, companies who participated in the first pilot program will be allowed to add the time credited to them during that program to this program and can be give full authority to run in the US quickly under their own authority even if the pilot program is stopped once again.
While I do not necessarily agree that Mexican trucks or their drivers would be less safe than American trucks or truckers, I do think that by bringing Mexicans into the US to haul freight directly to and from shippers and receivers, American truckers will lose their jobs. With the current tight economy and freight situation, any addition of equipment to the supply and demand equation will tip the balance to the ones able to haul cheapest.
Part of the NAFTA agreement was that American truckers would have access to run in Mexico just like the Mexicans could run here; this is the same deal the US has with Canada. While thousands of American drivers and Canadian drivers cross the Canadian border, few if any want to cross the border into Mexico with their high crime rate, theft of equipment and drug wars not to mention their lousy infrastructure.
Another twist is that all Mexican trucks would be required to be equipped with EOBRs. Those are coming to the truck nearest and dearest to you too soon, but guess who is paying for the Mexican EOBRs; yep, the USA. The money will be taken out of the highway trust fund that US trucking companies and owner operators routinely pay into. The way I read it, the US will be paying for other things under the agreement so the Mexicans can come here and haul freight. Our government is paying someone to come in and take our jobs.
The ATA and the US Chamber of Commerce, and I am sure many corporations with operations in Mexico, are all for this latest border program. The ATA, made up of many large trucking companies with sister companies in Mexico are thinking that it will open up more freight and put more money in the company pockets due to the Mexicans hauling for cheaper rates. The US Chamber of Commerce thinks opening the border will increase commerce between the two countries. While they have not said, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what the large corporations are thinking. If they can cut out the middle drivers along the borders and the transfer warehouse costs; and get the Mexicans to haul the freight back and to from their factories south of the border into the US and back again at substantially reduced rates, their bottom-lines increase. Win win for everyone but the American trucker.
Makes one wonder what Mexico has that influences our government so greatly. Drugs? White slaves? Black market goods? Cheap labor force? Perhaps all of those things are a factor when one realizes the money the government pays itself for the trying to control those illegal things at least. There is something there though for our own government to go against so many people who don’t want the Mexican trucks here.
I am adding my voice to OOIDA’s and the Teamster’s voices; get out your ink pens, fire up those laptops and buy extra minutes on your cells and write, email and call your representatives once again about this border issue. Raise hell, tell them you won’t stand still for this. Do make sure to tell your representative that you will not be an accessory to a criminal act; the blackmailing of America. Speak out loudly and proudly as American truckers and let us put this down once and for all…again.