International Economics

Mexicans Banned from the NAFTA Superhighway?

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el trucko

Remember the whole NAFTA superhighway conspiracy theory? The giant highway that was going to rip apart North America, a "ten-lane colossus the width of several football fields, with freight and rail lines, fiber-optic cable lines, and oil and natural gas pipelines running alongside"? Die hard believers still fear it, but they can take cold comfort in this: When it does come, there won't be any Mexicans driving on it:

Buried in the $410 billion catch-all appropriations bill now before the U.S. Senate is a provision that would end a program that has allowed Mexican truck drivers to deliver goods to destinations inside the United States.

A provision in the original North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 was supposed to allow U.S. and Mexican trucking companies to deliver goods in each other's country. But opposition from the Teamsters union and old-fashioned prejudice against Mexicans has derailed implementation of the provision.

Maybe there's are safety justification for the ban. Perhaps we just don't want those crazy Mexicans going all loco ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! on our roads, right? Nope, Cato's Daniel Griswold writes that Mexican drivers on a pilot program in the U.S. actually have better safety records than American drivers.

Ah well, it won't matter anyway when we're all paid in Ameros.

More on the mythical superhighway here and here.

More on hilarious Mexicans in the American imagination here: