Friday, September 14, 2007

Stunningly idiotic idea by out of touch pols

Mexican truckers want to suspend pilot program in US
Associated Press with San Diego Union Triubne

by Lisa J. Adams

MEXICO CITY – U.S. truckers aren't the only ones upset with a cross-border pilot program allowing long-haul Mexican tractor-trailers into the United States. Truckers south of the border aren't thrilled with it either.

The private organization representing the majority of Mexico's freight haulers on Thursday demanded the government suspend the program, saying it leaves Mexican truckers at a competitive disadvantage with their U.S. counterparts. Until last week, Mexican trucks were restricted to a narrow commercial zone along the border.

But after a more than decade-long dispute over the NAFTA provision opening up the roadways far across the border, the pilot program is gradually allowing up to 100 Mexican carriers to send their trucks on U.S. roadways for delivery and pickup.

The Mexican government also has committed itself to allowing trucks from as many as 100 U.S. companies to travel anywhere in Mexico.

Tirso Martinez, president of the group known by its Spanish acronym Canacar, said Mexico's Transportation Department has not resolved traffic bottlenecks for Mexican trucks trying to cross the U.S. border and lacks the personnel to enforce a provision prohibiting U.S. truckers from carrying domestic Mexican cargo, among other issues.

“The Mexican government has not negotiated the conditions that will permit freight haulers to compete on equal terms with its counterparts in the United States,” Martinez told a news conference. “Therefore, we demand that the Transportation Department suspend the launch of this pilot program ... because it is not prepared to carry it out.”

Martinez said Canacar was requesting a meeting with President Felipe Calderón to discuss its concerns.

The program is also encountering stiff opposition in the U.S.