Mexican trucks to enter U.S. freely?

By Jerome R. Corsi, WorldNetDaily.com, June 27, 2006

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50803

A U.S. government agency has begun a new audit to determine if the Bush administration has resolved inspection issues that would allow Mexican trucks to enter the U.S. freely.

David Barnes, a spokesman for the Office of Inspector General within the U.S. Department of Transportation confirmed to WND a new audit was begun in March 2006 on action by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration....

The issue draws heightened significance in light of the North American Free Trade Agreement super-highway plans being developed by the Trans-Texas Corridor project. Next month, the Texas Department of Transportation plans to hold the final public hearings on the plan to build a super-highway up to four football fields wide, paralleling I-35, from the border with Mexico at Laredo, Texas, north to the Texas-Oklahoma border. The Texas DOT expects to have final federal approval by the summer of 2007, with construction of the first super-highway segment to begin shortly thereafter.

Also, as WND has reported, the Kansas City SmartPort plans to open a Mexican customs office as part of their "inland port" along I-35. A brochure on the website of the Kansas City SmartPort makes clear that the ultimate plan is to utilize deep-sea Mexican ports, such as Lazaro Cardenas, to unload containers from China and the Far East. The containers will then be brought into the U.S. by Mexican railroads and Mexican trucks, all headed north to Kansas City, where the containers could continue north or be routed east or west, as needed....

On June 7, 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court reached a unanimous decision in Department of Transportation v. Public Citizen, ruling that Mexican trucks under NAFTA could enter the U.S. freely, even if the Mexican trucks failed to meet environmental standards as set by state and federal law....

Still, thousands of Mexican trucks have not started rolling across the border yet. Why not?

The answer lies with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in the Department of Transportation. According to Section 350 of the Fiscal Year 2002 DOT appropriations act, the FMCSA must first certify that Mexican trucks applying for cross-border entry into the U.S. are safe for long-haul operations.

An Office of Inspector General audit published Jan. 3, 2005, indicating the FMCSA had not implemented the on-site inspections in Mexico....

The Teamsters Union has fought NAFTA since the 1990s, concerned that the ultimate plan was to undermine union trucking as well as independent truckers who are owner-operators....

As a result of the [2004 Supreme Court] ruling, thirty thousand or more Mexican trucks which are generally older, more polluting, and less safe than their U.S. counterparts will be allowed to conduct long haul trucking operations to locations across the United States....

Read the complete article.

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