In yet another blow to U.S. workers, the Obama administration has signed a deal for Mexican truckers to operate inside the United States.
The news headlines all sing hallelujah over some soon to be disappearing punitive tariffs Mexico put on 99 U.S. products simply because we wouldn't let Mexican truckers, instead of American ones, on U.S. highways. There is no mention in the major press of the cost to American workers, the increased illegal drugs entering the country, the illegal immigrants being smuggled into the U.S., and the wages and jobs lost. Nor is there anything mentioned about border security in the press, or even challenging Mexico for being in violation of NAFTA by their attempts to subvert U.S. labor law in the first place.
The teamsters have been fighting this tooth and nail and just came out swinging. Mexican truckers have lax safety standards and much lower wages, yet will be allowed to work in the United States, by driving on American roads, displacing U.S. truckers.
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today castigated the U.S. Department of Transportation for agreeing to open the border to long-haul Mexican trucks. Opening the border endangers America’s highway safety, border security and warehouse and trucking jobs.
Hoffa said the program is probably illegal because it grants permanent operating authority to Mexican trucks after 18 months in the so-called “pilot program” outlined in the proposed rule published in the Federal Register. Congress has not granted DOT the legal authority to do so, Hoffa said. Further, DOT would use money from the Highway Trust Fund to pay for electronic on-board recorders for Mexican trucks. Hoffa questioned whether DOT can do that legally.
“Opening the border to dangerous trucks at a time of high unemployment and rampant drug violence is a shameful abandonment of the DOT’s duty to protect American citizens from harm and to spend American tax dollars responsibly,” Hoffa said.
“This so-called pilot program is a concession to multinational corporations that send jobs to Mexico. It erodes our national security. It endangers motorists. It ignores the rampant corruption among Mexican law enforcement. It lowers wages and robs jobs from hard-working American truck drivers and warehouse workers.
“It adds insult to injury to force U.S. taxpayers to pay for monitoring equipment on Mexican trucks so Mexican carriers can take away their jobs,” Hoffa said. “The DOT shows more loyalty to the Mexican people than it does to Americans.”
Here we go, more illegal aliens, more drug wars, violence and more lost jobs. The teamsters really came out slamming. One can also imagine what Teamsters are thinking now considering they worked very hard to get Obama elected.
Since 2007, violence has worsened as drug cartels compete for trade routes to the U.S. More than 40,000 people have been killed, and kidnapping and torture are rampant.
Further, a Homeland Security incident report from Oct. 15, 2010 indicates that drug traffickers have hijacked and cloned legitimate trucks to transport illicit cargo across the border. According to the document, criminals hijacked over 10,000 commercial trucks in 2010 in Mexico.
Hoffa said DOT cannot guarantee the safety of Mexican trucks.
“Mexican trucks simply don’t meet the same standards as U.S. trucks,” he said. “Medical and physical standards for Mexican trucking firms are lower than for U.S. companies. And how can Mexico enforce highway safety laws when it can’t even control drug cartels?
“The Bush-era pilot program was a failure that shouldn’t be repeated,” Hoffa said.
The U.S. government spent $500 million on the pilot program, which began in September 2007. Only about three Mexican trucks per day traveled beyond the border zone until the program was shut down, according to the Transportation Department’s office of inspector general. The inspector general also reported that “FMCSA does not have assurance that it has checked every Mexican truck and driver … when they cross into the border in the United States.”
Of course challenging Mexico's illegal tariffs never seemed to cross the mind of the Obama administration. Remember all of that 2008 election brew ha-ha about reforming NAFTA? A very sad day for the U.S. worker as well as national security.
been there...done that
as a former otr trucker who has run every state except maine, don't waste your time on the government over this. the trucking overlords having been pushing for this for years because now they will be able to pay some spic 20 cents an hour to cabotage ( transport goods or passengers between two points in the same country by a vessel or an aircraft registered in another country ...) the truckers have been squeezed for years, abused, lied to and defrauded (ask anyone who signed an ownership agreement with England) by the companies...the government of this country is nothing more than the bumboy of the corporations...if you don't know that by now you deserve what's coming...letting these bastards into this country is the worst thing the government has done in 50 years...no foreign war will cost the american more than this simple act of treason.
Please do not use derogatory terms on this site, which is primarily an economics site.
While we're going to acknowledge this is glorified labor arbitrage against the teamsters, their union, warehouse workers, i.e. Hoffa is calling it like it is, and the border statistics are brazen as well, that's where we draw the line.
There are plenty of U.S. citizens of Hispanic ethnicity here, and this is all about flooding labor markets, wages and eroding further U.S. workers power and rights.
Agree to disagree?
Both of you are saying the same thing. I too, think drive by should refrain from using derogatory speech in this or any forum. Although I do feel the same way, as drive by about the "trucking overlords". They spend so much money on lobbiests and congressmen an senators, that the average working class has no say in the running of this once great nation. We simply can't get in the door, we don't have the money.
People need to remember who votes for this stuff, then with no regard to race, party or how the Unions or others see them vote for what is right! Time to stop voting the skin or if this person is likable or not. Vote for the man,woman, black white, or whatever. That will do what is needed. Not what is politically polling right now! This Nation needs to Bless God, then God will again Bless America......
special interest politics
The problem is we do not seem to have the "United States Citizen" party, i.e. the national interest for all of working America. Even government statistics are way behind the times. They refuse to report pretty much any labor statistics by immigration status. i.e. U.S. citizen, perm resident (green card), guest worker (which Visa, how many are in the U.S.), illegal.
So, using ethnicity based comments defeats the focus of what's really going on here, which is global labor arbitrage, be someone Chinese, Indian, Mexican or French, whatever, it's all about flooding the domestic labor market and displacing U.S. workers..as we see by our trade deficit, never ending repressed wages, growing income inequality and last by not least, our decade old employment crisis. I will say a decade or even three because the BLS doesn't count a PhD as an employed PhD in their field once they are forced to take that Home Depot $8/hr sales associate job. So, we have many who have been displaced from career, higher paying jobs into lower ones and that hit hard from 2000-2004.
As far as his comment, yes we're saying the same thing for the most part, although the reason I posted this is not only was this a Bush agenda item, it is fundamentally a labor issue and as usual border security, national security is compromised due to U.S. Chamber of Commerce, NAFTA multinational's demands.
While drug violence and illegal immigration is visible, we have a whole other beyond belief security risk going on due to multinationals demanding to manufacturing, outsource to China. Economically, the impact is much, much worse! Literally China will steal almost any intellectual property, design and nothing, but nothing is done about it. That hits small, medium businesses especially hard, although going to China to save some money it almost serves 'em right. But they don't have to manufacture in China to be ripped off. Just one of the many issues going on.
We as American citizens can
We as American citizens can make a difference.
Just spread the word.... www.wheresamericasjobs.com
Problem with the word 'tariff'?
Checked out wheresamericasjobs and found a link for "How do you bring industry back to America?"
I find there, at #5, a remarkable circumlocution apparently desperately seeking to avoid use of the term "tariff"!
How do you bring industry back to America? #1 Cut the highest corporate tax in the world, which is Americas. #2 eliminate excessive and frivolous rules and regulations. #3 Stop atrocious taxes, and penalties. #4 Make business loans available to the American people. #5 if you want your products made in a foreign country and you condone cheap labor and take employment from the American people, you need to pay a tax before your products enter back into America. Same goes for foreign countries who what to sell their products in America; they must pay a tax before their products enter America, and guess what would happen? America would be sovereign and independent once again.
#1. Eliminate tax loopholes -- that, in itself, could probably balance the budget.
#2. Certainly, let's get rid of rules and regulations that are "excessive and frivolous
#3. Certainly, let's get rid of taxes that are "atrocious, and penalties.
#4. YES, seriously, we need credit available to small businesses, regardless of preferences and set-asides
#5. Immediate imposition of 15% across-the-board tariff, and let the WTO chips fall where they may!
Why is the word "tariff" so difficult these days for Americans to say? To be aligned with the Constitution, we could call it a 15% "duty" or "impost," but most people understand the word "tariff" to mean a tax levied on a product at entry into the United States. Isn't that what wheresamericasjobs is talking about?
Having driven through Mexico
Having driven through Mexico many times, all I can say is "Be afraid, be very very afraid". Mexican truckers are a real danger to US drivers. And that's that.
where are you union members, to allow the fraud in in the white house to undercut your jobs, is this what you fellows in the union agreed to, you give up your jobs while they are transferred to Mexican truckers . how stupid can you people be, i guess you will be on the bread shortly, You people better throw out your union leaders and break away from other corrupt obama unions, if not, your family will starve, get my point your families will starve.
Reap what you sow
"One can also imagine what Teamsters are thinking now considering they worked very hard to get Obama elected."
Need one say more? Should we take another chance with a hope-n-change amateur?
Every Repubican running would do the same thing
That's because multinational corporations demanded this. We have no choice, both are owned by big money, multinational corporations.
Anonymous 16:59 - Yeah, blame
Anonymous 16:59 - Yeah, blame the unions. . . it's ENTIRELY the fault of Unions, because they supported Obama. You STUPID union fools who supported Obama are entirely to blame for all the problems of the world, this one being only the latest. Unions caused the financial melt-down, greedy unions are the cause of global wage arbitrage, in fact, we should outlaw unions because they destroy America. Sheesh. Couldn't have anything to do with the Corporate Barons who manage congress and anyone in the Whitehouse.
Unions supported Obama. Truckers are one of the large unions. Obummer betrayed truckers, while giving all your money to the corporations. So now all of you union members will get what you deserved. You voted for him(with your union dues), now you will get fired.
So until you get some brains and destroy your unions which are funding Obama, you will suffer.
As always, you get what you deserve. You did not use your brains and allowed criminals into the government. Payback is a ##$#$.
Hopefully this will wake up a few people.
The good thing, is that in the end the unions will get eliminated as members will get fired. This will cut the money/vote supply to the government criminals.
The bad thing is that proper union is an essestial part of protecting members. However we don't have those unions any more.
ridiculous to blame unions
What kool-aid are you people drinking? Unions are not the problem, it's Obama just did whatever the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, multinationals want and all people, including unions be damned.
Look, I can get the hatred on unions pushing "amnesty", esp. the SEIU, but you must realize the only defense against worker disaster HAS been unions.
If the teamsters were not there, this would have happened 15 years ago, at least.
Good god, would people get their heads out of their asses.
Trucking provision was in the original NAFTA
George Orwell's Memory Hole seems to be functioning well.
HIstory: the original NAFTA included this "new" arrangement for Mexican trucking companies (actually MNCs) to roll over the border and range far and wide all the way to Alaska! For example, in Oregon, Rep. Peter DeFazio worked hard to campaign against NAFTA and specifically pointed out this trucking provision.
NAFTA as a negotiated agreement was first signed by President George H. W. Bush, on 17 December 1992. Yes, that would be after Bush's defeat on 3 November 1992. That was the election when Ross Perot challenged the entire system by running as an independent on a specifically anti-NAFTA platform.
NAFTA was subsequently approved in the House of Representatives 17 November 1993, by a vote of 234 to 200, with more opposition from Democrats than from Republicans. (YEAS 132 Republicans and 102 Democrats.) NAFTA passed the Senate 61-38 (YEAS 34 Republicans and 27 Democrats). Clinton signed it into law on December 8, 1993; it went into effect on January 1, 1994.
Many members of Congress who voted for NAFTA never bothered to run again. Generally, however, those who voted for NAFTA did well for themselves in whatever future situation they resorted to. Notably, Senator Robert Dole of Kansas was awarded the plum of the Republican nomination in 1996. Some have complained bitterly that Ross Perot played the part of a spoiler in that election, allowing Clinton a second term.
The original NAFTA included the provision for opening U.S. highways to Mexican truckers. When Obama met with President Fox of Mexico and Prime Minister Harper of Canada at Guadalajara in August 2009 (the 'Three Amigos' summit), Obama was heavily criticized in Mexico because he studiously ignored Mexico's complaints about what the U.S. Congress had done in March (2009), namely, canceled a program allowing a limited number of Mexican trucks onto U.S. highways.
THINK! Why oppose this provision of NAFTA when we could and should oppose NAFTA and GATT and CHINA TRADE in their entirety? Why not NOW impose a 15% across-the-board tariff (or VAT, call it what you want)? Why not at least discuss this as a possibility? Are we not in a budget crisis, that is, a revenue crisis? Are we not in an unemployment crisis? Are we not in a balance-of-trade crisis?
A tariff wouldn't stop international trade, it would just alter the terms of it.
"UNLESS CONGRESS INTERVENES"
Reuters story (Robert Oak's link) actually says something significant about the deal signed Wednesday to allow Mexican truckers onto U.S. roads:
"The action signals the end of a 16-year-old cross-border dispute in coming months, unless the U.S. Congress intervenes again (as it did in 2009 under Democratic control) to keep Mexican trucks off U.S. roads." (Reuters story linked by Oak)
"UNLESS CONGRESS INTERVENES AGAIN"
Get it? "Unless Congress intervenes," as in, actually enacts something on behalf of all of the American working people!
But if you are going to contact your congress critter ...
Why demand opposition to just this one little ol' provision in NAFTA when we could and should oppose NAFTA and GATT and CHINA TRADE in their entirety? Why not NOW impose a 15% across-the-board tariff (or VAT, call it what you want)? Why not at least discuss this as a possibility? Are we not in a budget crisis, that is, a revenue crisis? Are we not in an unemployment crisis? Are we not in a balance-of-trade crisis? Are we not in a crisis regarding the maintenance expense related to our frontiers?
Such a tariff wouldn't stop international trade, it would just alter the terms of it.
Hello, Tea Partiers? Are you awake? Are you wanting to challenge Obama? ... or is that just for show?
(Pardon me for getting political!)
To all comments made
We all need to wake up, but i think its to late. The teamsters new this was coming before obamas election. They were told by many and even ooida(Owner-Operator,Independent Drivers Association) has warned them. And they still helped him get into office. These plans were drawn up a long time. Even before Bill Clinton was in office. Knowing that it was him that signed N.A.F.T.A (North Americas Future Traded Away) into law. This is all in works for The New World Order. Thats why they built the super highway between Canada and Mexico, with a huge port somewhere in Kansas. And when thats up in running, no more unions at the ports. Everything will be shipped into Mexico. So for the teamsters sake and everybody who voted these clowns in. YOU ALL GOT YOUR JUST DESERTS
McCain would have also
While we at this site posted many a time Obama's real votes, policy positions, economic advisers, all pointed to the disaster we have today, i.e. we knew he had no intention of reforming any trade deal and it's turned out to be worst than one could imagine...
McCain would have done the same thing on Mexican trucks.
The real problem is we do not have control or choice in our government.
We need real representation and the entire thing, esp. in the Presidential, is all sewn up by corporations and their agendas.
We don't have a prayer, left, right, extreme, moderate.
CanaMex - best laid plans go astray
"That's why they built the super highway between Canada and Mexico, with a huge port somewhere in Kansas." -- hippiduck
They haven't built it yet ... and it may never be built!
I have it on solid information that construction union jobs were about to happen about four years ago, the multi-year contracts being to build a huge depot near the Canadian border that would be the major northern terminal of the North American super-highway (aka CanaMex Corridor). The CanaMex Corridor was to have connected central Canada through the heartland of the homeland (U.S.A.) and from there down to the Mexican "ports that China built." But the contracts were canceled even as workers were making their plans for temporary housing somewhere in nowhere-land in order to work themselves out of one last good-paying (union) job.
Specifically, the plan was (or is!) for a huge corridor that would provide limited access to semi-trucks that were to haul as many as 16 trailers per tractor and perhaps other privileged vehicles (tanks and APCs?) with no border stops and no stoplights or localized speed limits anywhere -- something like the Kansas Turnpike (part of I-70). The Corridor was (or is?) designed to accommodate pipelines, railroads and fiber optic trunk lines as well as a limited access super highway built for railroad-train-like assemblies up to 16 trailers per tractor.
This whole thing was a pet project of President George W. Bush -- see foto at this webpage
Also from the same webpage
Not only are the Teamsters deeply involved in all this, but also the West Coast longshoremen (ILWU), because China's (Hutchinson Ports) plan clearly is to avoid the high costs of using ILWU-organized ports in the U.S.A.. Talk about pay-back for unions that have supported trade agreements! By the way, Hutchinson Ports, or something like it, pretty much controls the Panama Canal today.
In approximately the same time frame (2007), friends who travel to and from Mexico, and live there part of the year, laughed at the suggestion that the super-highway could ever be completed in Mexico. I asked why, and they said "Because it's Mexico!"
A part of the Mexican portion of CanaMex has been constructed as a limited-access super-highway designed specifically for truck traffic from Lazaro Cardenas and/or Manzanillo to the U.S.. It may be that Mexico Federal Highway 15 in the state of Sinaloa, from El Dorado to Mazatlán, is a limited-access highway that is more-or-less considered to be a completed portion of CanaMex Corridor.
There have been reports that quasi-governmental organizations, contending with the official government of Mexico City, in particular La Familia Michoacana, have stopped trucks to demand something like a tariff, with their 'representatives' making statements to the effect that they never signed NAFTA.
Mexican analysts believe that La Familia formed in the 1980s with the stated purpose of bringing order to Michoacán, emphasizing help and protection for the poor. ... La Familia cartel is sometimes described as quasi-religious ... and may have direct or indirect ties with devotees of the New Jerusalem religious movement, which is noted for its concern for justice issues.
Some of the leaders of these movements are considered to be saints, at least, travelers sometimes find medals and votary candles in their honor.
Meanwhile, China appears to be modifying the original plan to locate the major port(s) on the mainland of Mexico, instead shifting the focus to Baja California (not a state, but two federally-governed territories with little or no regional autonomy).
It would be nice if I could give you some neat and clean sources, wouldn't it? But, for whatever reason, information about this North American Union has become tricky, difficult to find and murky ... to say the least. Could it be that information about the CanaMex project is classified Top Secret by the U.S. government? (About that, I have no information and no idea.)
Input from anyone here at EP on these topics would be appreciated.
Don't worry. This may all be 'conspiracy theory'. Maybe FAUX will tell us what's going on?
obama should be ashamed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Labor movement often gets it wrong -- Teamsters supported Reagan in 1980, and Ronnie proved to be a union buster. Live and learn, or don't learn. Now unions feel betrayed because they don't really have a place at the table -- maybe that's because they've stopped being unions. They could learn from those (commie pinko) French workers and the Greeks (and the Polish shipyard workers). They'll be taken seriously when they get serious.
DOT would use money from the
DOT would use money from the Highway Trust Fund to pay for electronic on-board recorders for Mexican trucks.
Please be advised they WILL NOT be paying for recordersfor U.S. trucks. That will be the carriers responsibility.