NPT Biz: NY Times: Let Mexican truckers in
In the scheme of things, not the biggest issue, but definitely resonates in El Paso. On Monday, the Associated Press reported, Mexico “put in place tariffs on 90 U.S. products after Washington canceled a program that allowed some trucks from Mexico to operate in the U.S. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the administration wants to work with Congress to come up with a plan that would restore that program.”
Today’s New York Times has an editorial strongly criticizing the failure to allow Mexican truckers to work in the U.S.:
An arbitration panel ruled in 2001 that the United States was in breach of its Nafta obligations on Mexican trucks. But thanks to the Teamsters union and its allies in Congress, all but a small number of Mexican carriers are restricted to operating within a 25-mile band from the border.
The truck drivers’ argument that Mexican trucks are unsafe is spurious — a flimsy cover for protectionism. Data from the Department of Transportation show that Mexican trucks and drivers operating in the United States — along the border and in the pilot program — have a better inspection record, with fewer violations, than their American counterparts.
We understand the White House did not want to threaten the passage of the spending bill by raising a ruckus over Mexican trucking, a comparatively minor issue. But it is time for Mr. Obama to put some political muscle behind his declared support for open trade.