Teamsters chief praises proposal to ban unsafe Mexican trucks

Teamsters union General President James Hoffa has applauded the U.S. House Democratic leadership for including a ban on unsafe Mexican trucks in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill unveiled February 23.

Though Congress shut down the Bush administration’s pilot program to open the border in the 2008 appropriations, the administration ignored the ban, which expired at the end of the fiscal year.

"Shutting down the border is the right thing to do," Hoffa said. "There’s no guarantee that trucks or drivers from Mexico are safe. Until there is, dangerous Mexican trucks should not be allowed to drive freely on our highways."

Despite the bipartisan opposition to opening the border to the cross-border trucking pilot program, the Department of Transportation said in 2008 that it will extend the program for another two years.

The Teamsters noted that Section 136 of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill’s Transportation Title states: "None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available under this Act may be used, directly or indirectly, to establish, implement, continue, promote, or in any way permit a cross-border motor carrier demonstration program to allow Mexican-domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond the commercial zones along the international border between the United States and Mexico."

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