From The San Diego News, via a link from Radley Balko:
SAN DIEGO -- The first Mexican carrier is set to roll into the U.S. interior within days, but American trucking union leaders and two California congressmen haven't given up on stopping the cross-border trucking program that had been stalled for years by safety concerns and political wrangling.
The stall has had little to do with safety concerns. It is about the political wrangling and protecting the constituents of some politicians that they've bought at auction prices.
U.S. Reps. Duncan Hunter and Bob Filner said they'll take a bipartisan stand at the border Wednesday in San Diego to voice concerns about the bilateral pilot project that will allow approved Mexican trucks to come deep into the United States. Hunter is a San Diego-area Republican, while Filner is a Democrat whose district includes California's border with Mexico.
They will join Teamsters union President James Hoffa and Todd Spencer, the owner-operator of the Independent Drivers Association, in a last-ditch effort to block Mexican trucks from being granted full access to U.S. highways.
The trucks are crossing a river, a river that has symbolic meaning because of a war we had with Mexico. This river became known as a "boundary".
Boundary (noun) (bound*a*ry) 1. In the geographic sense, an arbritrary listing of lines of latitude and longitude to be filled in on maps with different colors. 2. In the political sense, the far edges of your cage.
Allowing Mexican trucking companies to deliver the goods rather than transfer them onto U.S. haulers at the border will put American jobs and highway safety at risk, the union leaders say.
Horseshit. According to Marc Levinson, author of "The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger" the ancestors of these same union parasites once tried to unload and reload each shipping container as it entered U.S. "boundaries". They didn't understand that the entire point of the shipping container was to load the thing at Point A and not have the load touched by thieving little Jimmy Hoffa hands until it was unloaded by the customer at Point B. The unions insisted that they had a right to "strip and stuff" every shipping container, even if the load was going to be placed right back in the same shipping container.
All Jimmy Hoffa wants is to get his hands on the load.
Washington on Friday approved the first Mexican trucking company, Transportes Olympic, nearly two decades after the hotly contested provision of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement set off lawsuits and a costly trade dispute between the neighboring countries.
If I want to hire Transportes Olympic to haul a load from Juarez to Fort Worth, it really isn't Jimmy Hoffa's business. It is the U.S. government's business, unfortunately. They own the roads. But they've also established that it is illegal to discriminate against people for racial reasons, and that's the only angle these clowns have to fight with.
Transportes Olympic employees were busy Wednesday finishing the preparations for its historic, maiden trip.
The long-haul truck will cross the border Friday at Laredo, Texas, and head about 450 miles north to Garland, Texas, to deliver industrial equipment, said Guillermo Perez, the transport manager at the firm in the industrial Monterrey suburb of Apodaca, about two hours south of Laredo.
The company was also the first approved under the 2009 pilot program before President Barack Obama's administration cancelled it. Mexico retaliated by placing tariffs on 99 agricultural products worth more than $2 billion annually.
As well the should have. It's called NAFTA. It is a free-trade agreement, kinda. We've been in violation of the law for about 20 years.
Mexico cut the tariffs in half this summer after Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon approved an inspection and monitoring program for the companies that had been approved in 2009. The Mexican government has vowed to lift the rest once the truck heads out of the border zone Friday.
"We're really excited," Perez said in a telephone interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. "Now we can provide door-to-door service so it's about a 15 percent savings for companies."
Eliminating and lowering idiotic trade barriers like this one helps you to afford the computer on which you're reading this rant. It's how you got the clothes that I hope you are now wearing.
Opponents say the fight isn't over.
Hunter has co-authored a bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., that would require the pilot program to be ceased in three years and Congress to vote on the issue again.
"There's absolutely no upside to the program," said Joe Kasper, a spokesman for Hunter's office.
Yes there is an upside, you flak-catching hack. If I want to hire these people to haul a load, then I get to have my way.
That's always an upside.
Plus, I won't have to hire Hoffa goons. (Remember Jimmy Hoffa? The guy who said "let's take out those sons-of-bitches", in reference to The Tea Party?)
And I get to save money, which means that in the long run, you get to save money.
"It's a good example of foreign interests overtaking American interests, at the expense of jobs, security and safety. The program was a bad idea when it was created under NAFTA and it's a bad idea now. It should be stopped right away."
At the expense of jobs? If it's about saving jobs or creating more jobs, let's just mandate that loads can only cross The Rio Grande on wheelbarrows and that they can only move up Interstate 35 on hand carts pulled by the less fortunate of our society.
If it's about security, let's end the idiotic drug war. Safety will increase 100-fold on both sides of the river that we currently use as a boundary, just like safety increased when we ended our alcohol war with Canada at the end of Prohibition.
If it's about safety, take a look at one of the trucks that Transportes Olympic will use on these loads and then compare them to the rigs that haul the U.S. Mail. Case dismissed. There will be no comparison.
Criminal activity has been a problem for years even within the U.S. government's strictest trusted carrier programs. Drug trafficking organizations have smuggled tons of drugs inside trucks driven by approved truckers coming from inspected and certified facilities inside Mexico.
And they do this because there is a fortune to be made in doing so. End the monopolies that we've granted to the Mexican Drug Lords and their U.S. Enablers, and the smuggling will end. No one ever got rich by smuggling coals into Newcastle. Or by smuggling more bullshit into a political protectionist argument.
"The beneficiaries of opening borders will be few and the casualties will be plenty," Spencer told The Associated Press on Wednesday. His organization represents small independent trucking businesses.
He doesn't represent all of the small independent trucking businesses, as the article implies. He doesn't represent mine. (I'm the General Manager of one.)
Trade runs both ways. The outfit that I work for sells stuff in the U.S., and we sell stuff outside of Jimmy Hoffa's boundaries. We also purchase stuff from overseas and sell it inside the Hoffa enclosure in which most of you folks live. I don't need Hoffa and his Washington puppets in the way.
Anything is good as long as it helps weaken the cage so jealously guarded by U.S. Reps. Duncan Hunter and Bob Filner and union boss Jimmy Hoffa.
Proponents say especially strict safeguards are in place: The U.S. government is paying for electronic monitoring devices to be installed in all Mexican trucks used in the program.
Mexican trucking companies had to fill out an application, pay a fee and then submit the names of any drivers who will participate so they can undergo national security and criminal background checks by the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security.
Inspectors will check out the trucks for safety violations, verify the drivers' qualifications and administer oral English-proficiency exams.
The program's long delay has cost companies in both countries millions and hurt bilateral relations, proponents say.
"We certainly hoped that it cannot be stopped," said James Clark, director of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce's Mexico Business Center. "The U.S. has been in violation of the NAFTA agreement ever since the beginning of the trucking issue. Mexican trucks have every right to come into the U.S. under NAFTA as long as the trucks are fully inspected to U.S. standards and the drivers speak English."
About 70 percent of goods from the $4 billion trade between the two nations is transported by land to its destinations according to the Mexican government.
And all of that stuff is currently being unloaded at the border and reloaded onto another trailer. That's a total waste.
End of rant.
Thanks for listening.