Our Tax Dollars at Work in the U.S. - Paying for Improvements to Mexican Trucks?
Cross Border Trucking Deal with Mexico - U.S. Taxpayers expected to Pay for EOBRs for Mexican Trucks
An EOBR is an electronic device attached to a commercial motor vehicle, which is used to record the amount of time a vehicle is being driven. The driving hours of commercial drivers – truck and bus drivers – are regulated by a set of rules known as the hours-of-service(HOS). The HOS are rules intended to prevent driver fatigue, by limiting the amount of time drivers spend driving commercial vehicles.
First in 1995 the US and Mexico started a pilot program to allow Mexican trucks to travel throughout the US delivering loads brought in from Mexico. The US trucks were allowed to do the same in Mexico, but environmental issues, safety and security concerns spurred the United States to bar Mexican trucks from being on U.S. roadways.
There has been no indication from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) or the Department of Transportation (DOT) or from Mexico that any of these environmental issues or safety and security concerns have been addressed. 16 years later the environmental issues and safety and security concerns still exist, but Obama agreed to allow the Mexican trucks back into the US and at a price too. These Mexican trucks are to be fitted with Electronic on-board recorders (EOBR) that taxpayers in the U.S. are to pay for.
It is OUTRAGEOUS that we will be required to spend our tax dollars to pay for equipment on Mexican trucks; equipment which either the Mexican government or the Mexican carriers themselves should be required to pay for.
If the Mexican truckers want to operate in the U.S., let them pay for their own damn EOBR. This is just a slap in the face of every American truck driver and taxpayer that we will be forced to pay; so Mexican truck drivers can come into the U.S. and take loads and jobs from U.S. truck drivers. This whole cross-border deal is NO GOOD. Mexican truckers should NOT BE ALLOWED any further than they are legally bound now. Drop and hook the loads at the border and be done with it.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood along with Obama “tout” that this new cross-border trucking plan with Mexico is going to create jobs. But, it does not take a genius to see that by allowing Mexican trucks into the U.S. will cut jobs. Steve Russell, chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based Celadon Group Inc., which serves the U.S., Canada and Mexico said, “The theory behind cross-border trucking is that one tractor would replace three.” That sure sounds like taking jobs away - not creating any.
American trucks are allowed under this deal to go into Mexico also – so that is "supposed" to make up the differences in the loads being taken away from U.S. truckers. But the Highway Information Sharing Analysis Center, which is financed by the Department of Homeland Security and run out of the Transportation Security Administration, issued an advisory warning drivers and trucking companies that they could be exposed to violence from Mexico’s drug wars so, really who is going to drive into Mexico?
Today, a trucking news website site released an article entitled "The feds’ favorite remedy: Your tax dollars" and in the article they report "Arizona used federal U.S. money to replace mufflers with catalytic converters on 55 Mexican trucks last year to reduce pollution at the border. The Arizona Republic newspaper reports the project continues, at a cost of $1,600 per truck."
Why is the U.S. doing this? Why are we paying for safety and improvements to another country's trucks, so that they can legally and safely come into the U.S.?
Back in early March Mark Redding, the host of OOIDA’s Land Line Now radio show, hit the nail on the head in a blog post titled: A Bad Example.
Ray LaHood needed an example to back up what he was saying and show how his office has worked with the trucking industry in the past. Here’s the example he chose (and keep in mind this is a direct quote):
“We’re working with the trucking industry on their ability to continue to be competitive. They weren’t particularly enamored of some of the proposals that were being floated around with respect to the Mexican truck – the cross border, uh, but we met with them and we worked those out.”
Excuse me? You worked what out, exactly? And with whom? Which trucking industry did you work with, Secretary LaHood? It certainly wasn’t the same one that I work with. The trucking industry that I work with still doesn’t like the new proposed Mexican trucking program any better than the old program.
You want to know why? Let’s start with jobs. If this program goes through, American truckers will lose jobs. Period. Oh, but American truckers would be able to go down to Mexico and haul loads from there as well. Have you looked at the news from Mexico lately? Drug cartel violence. Kidnappings. It’s not a place I would want to be hauling valuable cargo into.
The bottom line is:
Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the Mexican trucking industry to comply with American safety standards. It is outrageous that we would spend our tax dollars to pay for equipment on Mexican trucks; equipment which either the Mexican government or the Mexican carriers themselves should be required to pay.