Mexican drivers threaten border protest
Dec 21, 2007 11:47 AM
The Mexican National Truck Drivers Federation is planning to block the border between Mexico and the United States in January 2008 if the cross-border trucking program doesn't come to an end, according to information from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, quoting the item from a Mexican newspaper.
The union of truckers is upset with the Mexican government for allowing US trucks and truckers into their country. The federation is reported to have approximately 200,000 members who will clog the border, effectively shutting down all cross-border traffic.
Meanwhile, Congress has cut funding for the US Department of Transportation's pilot program that authorizes certain Mexican carriers to operate throughout the United States. The plan to block funding for the program is contained in a mega appropriation bill that includes funding for the Department of Transportation (DOT) for 2008. The president is expected to sign the legislation.
Despite the approvals, there is speculation that the Bush administration will find a way to keep the project alive, according to news reports. Meanwhile the DOT Inspector General's office announced in early December that it is initiating an audit of the program to determine whether: (1) the Secretary of Transportation has established sufficient mechanisms to determine whether the demonstration project is adversely affecting motor carrier safety, (2) Federal and state monitoring and enforcement activities are sufficient to ensure that participants in the demonstration project are complying with all applicable laws and regulations, and (3) the demonstration project consists of a representative and adequate sample of Mexico-domiciled carriers that are likely to engage in cross-border operations beyond the United States municipalities and commercial zones on the United States-Mexico border.
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