Hoffa pleased with White House, Congress NAFTA compromise
Nov 29, 2001 12:00 PM
James Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has endorsed an agreement between the White House and Congress on the entrance of Mexican trucks into the United States.
"This victory for the American traveling public is long overdue," said Hoffa. "Just a few months ago, the Administration advocated opening the border to all Mexican truck traffic with little investment in a US safety regime. The Murray- Shelby provisions will ensure Mexican carriers meet the same standards as US trucks and drivers.
"The Department of Transportation (DOT) has a formidable task ahead. Adequate safety inspection facilities must be built, additional inspectors must be put in place and Mexican trucks must be inspected every 90 days. Further, the new safety regime will create data that will assist the United States in determining whether Mexican trucks and drivers meet US standards.
"While the DOT Inspector General must report on the progress of achieving safety standards, the implementation of these standards must be carefully scrutinized. We are hopeful that the Department of Transportation will carry out these provisions as outlined to ensure the safety of the traveling public."
Hoffa said that since the enactment of NAFTA, Mexico has done little to improve its trucking safety standards. "Now that the United States is enacting safety measures with the provisions of Murray-Shelby, it is time for the government of Mexico to meet its end of the bargain," he added.
He called for strict licensing requirements, a national drivers database, hours-of-service rules, and hazardous material designations on trucks. "These are just a few steps that would improve safety. Our brothers and sisters in Mexico deserve no less."