BUSH SELLS OUT AMERICAN TRUCKERS
By Geoff Metcalf
September 11, 2007
the cowardice that dare not face new truths,
The epic arrogance of an administration that can comfortably blow off p.o.-ed Teamsters, apoplectic environmentalists, and a mystified Congress is beyond merely annoying.
Mexican trucks are rolling, rolling, rolling, and apparently, notwithstanding overwhelming congressional and public opinion disapproval, no one can do �Jack� to stop them.
The litany of specific significant questions is awe-inspiring and cavalierly ignored by the haughty administration.
Sadly, we don�t know what we don�t know�and the administration apparently couldn�t care less.
Our derelict Department of Transportation is allowing 44 Mexican long-haul vehicles to participate in the first 30 days. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Soon, over 100 Mexican trucking companies will be green lighted to dispatch THOUSANDS of trucks into �El Norte.�
The audacity of the administration�s contempt for public opinion, Congress, and our law is reprehensible. But hey, THIS is what we knew could and would result from NAFTA. I warned about this in 1991, 1998. [Read] and [Read]
Truckers already have begun to protest the project at the California border and a massive trucker�s protest drive on Washington is anticipated.
NAFTA was, is, and will always be a bad deal. A �borderless� North America was a designed, intended consequence of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. Canadian trucks have already had free passage throughout the U.S. but the DOT has never certified Mexican trucks�until now.
A 2000 demand from a NAFTA tribunal upheld Mexican complaints. No surprise!
Mexican trucks, which make over 4.5 million trips over the border each year, had been limited to about a 20-mile zone where loads had to be to U.S. trucks for delivery.
On May 15, Congress passed the Safe American Roads Act of 2007 by a 411-3 margin, prohibiting the DOT from putting the �pilot program� into effect until a list of requirements were met, such as insuring full inspection of the Mexican trucks and allowing U.S. trucks to operate in Mexico beyond commercial zones.
The White House reportedly leaned on the Senate Transportation Committee (big-time) not to hold hearings on the Senate version of the bill. The administration and their DOT are driving on in total defiance of both the will of the American people and Congress.
There is �no way/no how� that U.S. trucking regulations will be enforced in Mexico.
The DOT does a lousy job of inspecting American trucks (some 40 percent inspected). Does ANYone really expect them to do any better with Mexican trucks?
The Bush administration has argued �the critical bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Mexico would be placed under considerable strain by further delay in the demonstration project.� BULLFEATHERS!
Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen, has called the program, �a perfect storm. It is a predictable disaster.�
Seventy per cent of the $300 billion in trade between the US and Mexico in 2006 was carried by truck.
You don�t need to be a tree hugger to understand that more traffic in older, dirtier rigs will hurt clean air standards.
According to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) allowing Mexican trucks into the U.S. will bring an additional 50 tons per day of polluting nitrogen oxide and 2.5 tons of other particulate matter into California.
An average US trucker pays over $16,000 in highway user fees. Mexicans trucks won�t be paying spit. Thousands of trucks at some 400 gallons per truck will contribute significantly to lost highway maintenance tax money.
There is some question if Marcus Tullius Cicero did or didn�t say, �The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt�� However, whoever said it was spot on.
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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's
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The audacity of the administration�s contempt for public opinion, Congress, and our law is reprehensible.