Free trade

Licensed, Safe Mexican Truck Drivers to Invade U.S., Teamsters "Deeply Disappointed"

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bienvenido

Since 2009, Mexican trucks hauling imports have been banned from U.S. roads, despite provisions in 1994's North American Free Trade Agreement which should have give both sides of the border access to each other's highways and byways. Mexico was understandably ticked at this development—widely viewed as a sop from Democrats to their union supporters—and expressed their sadness by imposing $2.4 billion in additional tariffs on U.S. goods imported to Mexico.

Finally, the Obama administration has made some headway, offering a new plan yesterday that would get Mexican drivers out on our streets, conditional on various safety inspections and permits. This move has won Obama approval from a unlikely corner: Democratic enemy and foreign-funded menace numero uno: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"It's past time that we kept our word and complied with the promise we made to allow carefully inspected trucks to move across the border," Thomas J. Donohue, the president of the chamber, said in a statement.

Not everyone is happy, of course:

"I am deeply disappointed by this proposal," the [Teamsters] union's president, James P. Hoffa, said in a statement. "Why would the D.O.T. propose to threaten U.S. truck drivers' and warehouse workers' jobs when unemployment is so high? And why would we do it when drug cartel violence along the border is just getting worse?" Mr. Hoffa also raised safety concerns.

Talk of safety concerns is disingenuous. Nobody is talking about letting this dude loose in the streets of El Paso. This fight is about protectionism and domestic politics, not safer roads or drug violence. (In fact, the limited number of Mexican drivers who operated in the U.S. from 2007 to 2009—as part of a pilot program killed by the Obama administration—actually had better safety records than their American counterparts.) Forcing Mexican trucks to unload their cargo at the border and reload it into identical trucks that happen to driven by Americans is absurdly wasteful, and it's a practice that has gone on for far too long. Try not to get too weirded out by your bizarro world friends and enemies on this issue, Obama administration.

And never forget: Long haul truckers aren't the only Mexican large vehicle operators under attack. Tacos!

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46 responses to “Licensed, Safe Mexican Truck Drivers to Invade U.S., Teamsters "Deeply Disappointed"

  1. DEY TURK UR PIKUP TRUKS AN ALL GOT DA FRUNT SEET!

  2. “”I am deeply disappointed by this proposal,” the [Teamsters] union’s president, James P. Hoffa, said in a statement.”

    It’s 2011 and Jimmy hoffa is the president of the teamsters union and Richad Daley is the Mayor of Chicago.

    WTF???

    1. The best part of America is that elections prevent hereditary positions and a permanent political class… Or the food.

  3. Hoffa, like Daley, is a genetic mutant who, unfortunately, was born before screenings for such abnormailities were available.

  4. A small step for mankind. Let’s hope this program actually leads to free traffic between the U.S. and Mexico, and apoplexy on the part of James P. Hoffa, the Republicans’ favorite union leader.

    1. STOP SPELLING MY NAME WRONG!

      1. You have nothing to complain about.

    2. Not that being “the Republicans’ favorite union leader” made the Bush Administration nor the Republicans see his way on this issue, unlike the Democrats.

    3. Yes, I agree with you Vanneman, this, while a small step, is another positive result of the GOP taking Congress and forcing Obama to reject the failed Democratic policies of the past.

  5. You won’t think it’s so great when an 18 wheel lowrider pulls up at the redlight next to you and starts bouncing to La Cucracha.

    1. But if it does it to “Besa Me Mucho,” I’ll be down with it.

      1. (sung to the tune of Guantanamera)

        Geraldo Rivera,
        Yes he’s Geraldo Rivera.
        Ger-al-do Ri-ver-a,
        Yes he’s Geraldo Rivera.

  6. and expressed their sadness by imposing $2.4 billion in additional tariffs on U.S. goods imported to Mexico.

    Trade war! Yay!

    1. Let’s put tariff’s on Coke and weed! We’ll show those those bastardos!

  7. Pretty sure that photo link is of a Pakistani or Indian truck, not mexican.

  8. How come Hoffa can’t do something constructive. Like go look for his Dad, or something. And when he finds him, hang out. For a while.

  9. There’s a union exception to us honoring our treaty obligations? Strange, it’s not on my copy of the Constitution. [Flips Constitution over.] Nope, don’t see it anywhere.

    1. To be fair, there’s probably foot-dragging on treaties I agree we shouldn’t be fully adhering to.

    2. It’s in the part that stuck together.

    3. And NAFTA isn’t a treaty.

  10. “I am deeply disappointed by this proposal,” the [Teamsters] union’s president, James P. Hoffa, said in a statement.

    Yeah, it would have been a safe bet to say he would not be elated.

  11. I am deeply concerned that Chamber of Commerce is so powerful and influential that it has soiled the pristine oasis of the Obama White House. I fear the second half of his term will be rife with corruption.

    1. He just hired a Hoffa. The rife-with-corruption part need not wait until a second term.

  12. The road to Hell is packed bumper to bumper with Mexican trucks.

  13. I work for a company that helps trucking companies to comply with DOT regulations, so my semi-educated $0.02: There are many safety regulations on how much drivers can drive, what is their minimum rest period, etc. Whether these regulations in their current form are justified or not is for another debate; let’s assume for now that they help. After decades of self-reporting by drivers, the DOT has recently moved to mandate automated recording of relevant data for certain companies. This is in line with many trucking companies switching to automated recording and remote monitoring of their drivers in the past decade or so. However, while this is feasible in the US, it is still not technologically feasible and economical for most Mexican companies. As such, I believe that in the next few years the accident data will switch sharply against Mexican drivers.

    1. “As such, I believe that in the next few years the accident data will switch sharply against Mexican drivers.”

      Let’s see the data on how the US accident rate dropped when the reporting became automated.

      1. It is only now becoming automated by DOT mandate, and the first companies forced to install the systems are repeat offenders of the rules. You’ll have to wait a few more years for the data to accumulate.

        1. Well, given that you’re just taking a guess, there is some data:

          “In fact, the limited number of Mexican drivers who operated in the U.S. from 2007 to 2009?as part of a pilot program killed by the Obama administration?actually had better safety records than their American counterparts.”

  14. “”Why would the D.O.T. propose to threaten U.S. truck drivers’ and warehouse workers’ jobs when unemployment is so high?”
    How about to lower costs so those unemployed can afford things?

    “And why would we do it when drug cartel violence along the border is just getting worse?”
    Sleazy innuendo.

    1. But they’re brown!

  15. The “why the fuck am I doing this” face on the Mexican truck drivers dropping off their trailers at transfer facilities in Del Rio is pretty impressive.

  16. In fact, the limited number of Mexican drivers who operated in the U.S. from 2007 to 2009?as part of a pilot program killed by the Obama administration?actually had better safety records than their American counterparts.

    Save American lives: Hire Mexican truckers!

  17. Organized labor is one of the biggest supporters of open borders. It’s a bit counterintuitive for unions to do anything that put downward pressure on wages, but the reason is that more immigrants = more Democrats = more union power.

    So the Teamsters are getting what they wanted. Good. Their lazy asses deserve to have their jobs taken by Mexicans.

      1. How does one say jingoistic bastard in Spanish?

        1. Machista hijo de puta

    1. Organized labor is one of the biggest supporters of open borders.

      Not quite.

      Organized labor is one of the biggest supporters of making currently illegal immigrants legal, for the reasons you cite.

      But they are vehemently against the free migration open borders implies for exactly the same reasons they are against free trade: too much competition.

      I’m sure if you pinned them to the wall, they’d say something stupid like “fair migration, not free migration.”

    2. What are you talking about? Organized labor is one of the biggest supporters of protectionism.

  18. How far is it from “deeply disappointed” to “suicidally depressed”?

  19. Only complaint I have with this development is this is probably not a two-way street, pun intended.

    I’m all for free borders, open comm and commerce etc. But not if its only one side of the border. Its the biggest complaint I have with illegal immigration from Mexico as well. If I, as an American, could move to Mexico, buy property and other assets legally, get a driver’s license, even get on the dole, I wouldn’t care about immigration. But I can’t go there and do that, they can only come here and do those things.

    Bullshit.

    1. You can go to Mexico and do all those things illegally, just as Mexicans can come to the US and do all those things illegally. It’s the same on both sides of the borders.

      Is the fact that the US has nominally more respect for individual rights the problem? Would you rather the US require an applicant pass E-Verify to get a mortgage?

      1. No, I’d like to see American truck drivers have reciprocal easy access to the Mexican road-network to haul freight…as an example in this specific instance. Generally, I am talking about Mexico to be as tolerant and open with Americans as we are with them; and not as a legal entity, but as a society.

        1. I’m very sickend by this. Obama has no clue. NONE Truckers will not put up with this. I’m not proud to be an american any more.

    2. Actually, in this case it is a two-way street. US companies have the same cross-border rights as Mexican. And for some odd reason, they seem to think that’s a good thing. Yes, US trucks and drivers go into Mexico and the competition is fierce for those loads.
      My concern is that the cost of living in Mexico is such that $0.90/mi is great pay for them. For US drivers, that will hardly put fuel in their tanks, let alone pay the $1200/mo insurance bill. Loads are hard enough to come by. We don’t need more trucks to carry them! NAFTA was a plain bad idea!

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