Cross-Border Trucking Plan Draws Criticism


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The news that Mexican trucks will be allowed to haul freight deeper into the United States drew an angry reaction yesterday from labor leaders, safety advocates and members of Congress.

They said Mexico has substandard trucks and low-paid drivers that will threaten national security, cost thousands of jobs and endanger motorists on the northern side of the Mexican border.

The Bush administration Thursday announced its plan to have U.S. inspectors oversee Mexican trucking companies that carry cargo across the border.

"This program will make trade with Mexico easier and keep our roads safe at the same time," Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said yesterday. She announced details of the plan to let 100 Mexican trucking companies travel beyond the border area while she was in El Paso at the Bridge of the Americas, which connects to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Access to all U.S. highways was promised by the year 2000 under the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement, as was access through Mexico for U.S. carriers. That aspect of NAFTA was stalled by lawsuits and disagreements.

The Bush pilot project will allow Mexican truck companies to travel from Mexico throughout the United States and back. No hazardous material shipments will be permitted.

I hate to see that this is becoming a reality. I really hope that the United States pays close attention to this, but I don't feel they will.

This is going to make the roads much more unsafe. If people think truckers are dangerous now, wait til these guys start running all over the United States.

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