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By LESLIE MILLER, Associated Press Writer
Fri Feb 23, 10:11 PM ET



WASHINGTON - The news that Mexican trucks will be allowed to haul freight deeper into the United States drew an angry reaction Friday 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 on 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 Friday. She announced details of the plan to let 100 Mexican trucking companies travel beyond the border area while she was in El Paso, Texas, at the Bridge of the Americas, which connects to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Said Teamsters President Jim Hoffa: "They are playing a game of Russian roulette on America's highways."

Access to all U.S. highways was promised by 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 between the two countries, though Canadian and U.S. trucks travel freely across the northern border.

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

According to the Transportation Department, U.S. inspectors will inspect every truck and interview drivers to make sure they can read and speak English. They'll examine trucks and check the licenses, insurance and driving records of the Mexican drivers. Inspectors will also verify that the trucking companies are insured by U.S.-licensed firms.

The first Mexican trucks are expected to drive into the United States beyond the border area in about 60 days, the Transportation Department says.

National Transportation Safety Board member Debbie Hersman questioned how the U.S. could spare sending inspectors to Mexico when only a tiny percentage of the hundreds of thousands of U.S. truck companies are inspected every year.

"They lack the inspectors to conduct safety reviews of at-risk domestic carriers," Hersman said. "That situation only gets worse if resources are diverted to the border."

One-fourth of all U.S. trucks are taken off the road after random inspections because they're so unsafe, she said. An even higher percentage of Mexican trucks are taken off the road at Texas border crossings, she said.

Mexican carriers insist their rigs meet U.S. standards. And according to the Transportation Department, 240 federal and 300 state government employees deal with Mexican truck issues.

Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen, said inspections will be meaningless because the trucks won't have black boxes that record how long a driver has been behind the wheel.

"They have no way of telling how many hours these truck drivers have been driving before they get to the U.S., let alone when they get here," Claybrook said.

Sen. Patty Murray (news, bio, voting record), D-Wash., chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, announced a March 8 hearing to determine whether the arrangement meets safety requirements.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (news, bio, voting record), D-Ore., chair of the House Highways subcommittee, said Congress will keep a close eye on the program.

Mexico responded to the U.S. announcement by saying it will allow trucks from 100 U.S. companies to travel across the border.

Business groups have wanted the border opened to avoid middleman costs of transferring goods from Mexican to U.S. trucks.

The American Trucking Associations said it supports the program, but wants to make sure that U.S. and Mexican truck companies are held to the same standards.

"We also are waiting to see that when US carriers are allowed to travel into Mexico that the regulatory and permitting process that U.S. carriers undergo is fair and transparent," the ATA said in a statement.
 

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the reason they are such terrible drivers is because in Mexico they only have drivers education 2 days a week.................they need the donkey for sex ed the other 3
 

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All FLYING-J truck stops will now be requried to post menus in Spanish.
Burritos and tachos will be the main entree.


Bo
 

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It only gets better!! On their way to a Wal Mart near you....... Or how many Illegals can you stuff into a semi trailer? Grammie must not be awake just yet!
 

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What this is???? A way to smuggle more drugs into the country!!!! Ya see,,,the plan calls for Mexican Trucks to be inspected "IN" Mexico!!! this means,,,,there will be NO NEED for any state within the union to stop,,and do "inspections" on these trucks!!!!

Yesterday in Camp Verde,Arizona------two ILLEGALS driving a Semi loaded with over 1000lbs of pot was stopped by an Arizona State Trooper for a safety inspection because the drivers DID NOT know how to fill out their log books and was speeding through a work zone!!!

Also,,,,An Illegal Mexican was arrested for raping a 6 year old little girl!!!!

I don't care how much we are told "we need these people",,,I know we don't!!!! What we need is to stop the madness over our own border!!!! Kill the sons of bitches!!!!!!!!!!!

AKA Grammie.............
 

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Its all crap, Hoffa doesnt want the competition.

If their trucks are not road worthy, from the US or Mexico, if drivers dont comply with the laws dont allow them to roll. Period.

Berettaman7
 

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Sell our Ports sell our highways,auto workers, construction workers and truck drivers. Let the brown waves come they are just taking jobs Americans don't want and sending the money home to better their country.
 

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The DOD are told not to hassle them They drive unsafe pieces of JUNK and are allowed to do so. They are lousy drivers who endanger the U.S. highways and often cause accidents. If they do you are SOL because they have NO insurance! All this at a time when studies show more americans are killed in one way or another from illegal mexicans than are dying in the Iraq war! They will destroy this country and rob the life styles, culture and freedoms from your children. If a law officer shoot one while they are committing a crime, the officer will go to prison for years! Man this P!$$&s me off!
 

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I'm a retired truck driver, and have hauled freight to the border (Laredo, TX), and believe me, you don't want those Mexican truckers up here in our country. The equipment is old, outdated junk that is absolutely UNSAFE! And I can't say much more for the drivers, they drive like maniacs, and couldn't care less about things like equipment inspections.

Keep em out, Ted N
 

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Roger C.

What does this have to do with illegal aliens? I did not say it’s good or bad to have truckers from south of the border driving on our highways, all I said is that most of the hollering comes from Jimmy Hoffa.

Enlighten us if you may with your rhetoric while Grumpy, sorry, Grammie devices a way to finance an Arizona militia to vaporize those trespassing our southern border.(Grammie should have his own site, I am yet to read single post from him refering to trap shooting or guns.)

Berettaman7
 

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I have made as many posts concerning trap shooting,,and guns,,and the 2nd amendment as I have posts about illegals or anything else for that matter!!!

AKA Grammie......
 

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Ooooweee, boys, andele pronto! My favorite gear on a truck is Mexican overdrive. Find a big downgrade, slip in between gears and coast. You're now in Mexican over-drive. Boy howdie are we headed down the wrong road.
 

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Jim Hoffa, the late Jimmy Hoffa´s son is the current Teamsters General President, in case you did not know, HM check your facts.

http://www.teamster.org/07news/nr_070223_1.asp

Berettaman7
 

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CalvinMD that is funny. Find him in a can of soup... ummmmmm good. Jeff
 
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