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August 18, 2007

Federal Agency Backs Open Border To Mexican Trucks

Posted in: Free Trade Agreements, North American Union, Superhighway

SignOnSanDiego

WASHINGTON ? A federal transportation agency yesterday defended President Bush’s plan to open the border to long-haul Mexican truck traffic in a response to overwhelmingly negative public views of the proposal.

The 27-page defense appearing in the Federal Register advances the controversial cross-border trucking pilot program one step closer to implementation.

Bush has sought to conduct the program as part of his effort to comply with a provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement requiring the United States and Mexico to open their borders to each other’s commercial trucks.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which would conduct the program, acknowledged that the vast majority of the more than 2,300 public comments it received were opposed to the proposed one-year experiment.

But the agency argued that it is committed to making sure Mexican truck drivers obey all U.S. rules and regulations during the trial. The program would allow up to 100 Mexican carriers to send trucks into the United States.

Opponents ? including the Teamsters union, other trucking and safety organizations and dozens of lawmakers ? contend that Mexican drivers would pose a hazard on U.S. highways and would displace American truck drivers because they work for lower wages.

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