Members of the Senate voted and blocked a truck program that would have given 100 Mexican truck carriers an opportunity to have 500 trucks cross the border and transport goods on U.S. Highways.
Since its inception in 1994, The North American Free Trade Agreement has given supporters of free trade the idea of a pilot program involving Mexican truck carriers. In fact, last year the Bush administration was fully committed to moving forward with a pilot test program that would have allowed Mexican trucks to operate freely across the U.S. until Congress cut off the necessary funding for the implementation of the program in December.
In a further effort to thwart the program, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 20-9 to block the pilot program last week, making it two times in a row the program has been contested.
Citing a concern for highway safety and U.S. jobs, opponents of the program believe there are insufficient safeguards in place to ensure Mexican trucks are as safe as U.S. carriers. The Department of Transportation may find it impossible to enforce their rules and regulations on companies in Mexico. Currently, Mexican trucks have to stop at a border buffer zone and transport their loads onto U.S. carrier trucks.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons by Alex Covarrubias