Friday, February 4, 2011

California Rep. Wants Hearing on Mexican Trucks

Bob Filner represents a district in Congress that encompasses the entire California/Mexico border, home to some of the busiest border crossings. Filner doesn't think the U.S. Department of Transportation is ready to open the border to Mexican trucks. In a recent letter to Teamsters President Jim Hoffa, he wrote,
I do not believe the Administration has any real sense of the impact of their proposal on road safety, border wait times, jobs or national security. Until these serious issues are addressed, any proposal to allow Mexican trucks access to our roadways will make our nation's roads less safe, will further lengthen border wait times, will put Americans out of work and will expose Americans to additional national security threats.
Filner has asked the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Homeland Security committees to hold hearings on the issue. In a separate letter, he told the leaders of those committees
I am not convinced that appropriate checks are in place to ensure the safety of Mexican trucks that are coming across the border or to ensure the drivers are appropriately trained and abide by hours-of-service regulations. Not only are there insufficient personnel to perform truck safety inspections, but it is also far too easy to forge drivers' certifications and forge logbooks.
And yet Mexico is pressuring the U.S. to open the border, according to a CNN report:

Mexico asked the United States on Tuesday to move forward with the creating a proposal to end a ban on cross-border trucking in violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“We continue searching for any opportunity for dialogue and interaction with the (Obama) administration and Congress,” The Mexican Embassy said in a statement, according to Mexico’s official Notimex news agency. “We urge them to present a specific proposal to resolve the trucking impasse.”
U.S. Trade Representative said Tuesday that they're working as "fast as possible." Let's hope he's shading the truth on that.