Sunday, September 2, 2007

Snow on the Mexican Trucking Situation

Tony Snow has weighed in on Mexican big rigs rolling across our southernmost border into our country.

I suppose it should come as no surprise that the outgoing White House press secretary would be in support of this "experiment" sponsored by the President.

From WorldNetDaily:

Snow not buying Hoffa's 'disaster' description
Teamsters want Bush administration's Mexico truck program stopped

Posted: September 1, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

The outgoing spokesman for President Bush says the U.S. Department of Transportation is trying to make sure that any trucks and truckers on U.S. highways are safe.

Tony Snow, who announced his plans to leave the White House post in two weeks, added that he doesn't believe what the president of the Teamsters Union has to say about the issue actually would be impartial.

He was responding to a press briefing question from Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House. Kinsolving asked: "Teamsters President Hoffa has called the Bush administration's test program to allow Mexican trucks unrestricted access to U.S. highways, in his words, 'a disaster; all we're asking is that Mexican trucks and truckers meet the same standards as American trucks and drivers.' My question: Why do the Teamsters have to go to court to try to make Mexican truck drivers meet the same drug screening, physical evaluations and hazmat certifications as U.S. truckers?"

The Teamsters and other organizations went to court this week to try to obtain an order halting the program, and the Bush administration has responded with a request that it be allowed to move forward.

"There are a number of things that the Department of Transportation is involved in, in trying to maintain and ascertain and guarantee the safety of any trucks that are on U.S. highways," Snow said. "I don't think that I will buy lock, stock and barrel what the president of the Teamsters Union has to say about possibly competing trucking operations."

The Bush administration's court response to the request by the Sierra Club and Teamsters to block the program, scheduled to begin this weekend, was that the two organizations didn't have standing to ask for the halt, since they cannot prove the pilot program will harm them.

The two groups opposed the program, to involve 100 Mexican trucking companies with the possibility of bringing thousands of Mexican trucks onto U.S. highways, citing safety concerns and competition with U.S. truckers.

Mexican trucks and truckers already are allowed into the U.S., and the administration said 4.5 million trips are made each year. They are, however, limited to a short zone along the border, while the new program would erase that limit and give them virtually unrestricted access nationwide...

On an upnote, however, there ARE SOME laws that have been on the books for some time that are FINALLY going to be they say:

Truck drivers will be required to read, speak English
The Associated Press

HARLINGEN -- Interstate truck and bus drivers across America may find themselves pulled off the highway if state troopers or vehicle inspectors find they can't speak English.

The requirement has been on the books for decades, but enforcement has begun before Mexican trucks are allowed in the U.S. interior as of Thursday.

"We have found people in violation of this for a number of years, and we're working feverishly to correct it," said John Hill, head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Since 1971, federal law has said that commercial drivers must read and speak English "sufficiently to understand highway traffic signs and signals and directions given in English and to respond to official inquiries."

Hill said the language deficiency was found mostly in the commercial zone that varies from 25 miles to 75 miles north of the Mexican border, but since inspectors there are bilingual and Mexican truckers are not allowed past that zone, it hasn't been an issue.

But after more than a decade of legal wrangling, U.S. highways are opening up.

The North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 called for Mexican and U.S. trucks to travel freely throughout one another's nations, but the provision was stalled by labor unions and environmental groups' arguments that the trucks are unsafe...
NAFTA has been around for a number of years, but has it been a good thing? How many U.S. factories have moved their operations to Mexico, costing American workers their jobs? Has that benefited the families of those workers? I don't think so.
North American Union Already Starting to Replace USA
by Jerome R. Corsi
Posted: 05/30/2006

In March 2005 at their summit meeting in Waco, Tex., President Bush, President Fox and Prime Minister Martin issued a joint statement announced the creation of the “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America” (SPP). The creation of this new agreement was never submitted to Congress for debate and decision. Instead, the U.S. Department of Commerce merely created a new division under the same title to implement working groups to advance a North American Union working agenda in a wide range of areas, including: manufactured goods, movement of goods, energy, environment, e-commerce, financial services, business facilitation, food and agriculture, transportation, and health.

SPP is headed by three top cabinet level officers of each country. Representing the United States are Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Representing Mexico are Secretario de Economía Fernando Canales, Secretario de Gobernación Carlos Abascal, and Secretario de Relaciones Exteriores, Luis Ernesto Derbéz. Representing Canada are Minister of Industry David L. Emerson, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety, Anne McLellan, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pierre Stewart Pettigrew.

Reporting in June 2005 to the heads of state of the three countries, the trilateral SPP emphasized the extensive working group structure that had been established to pursue an ambitious agenda:

In carrying out your instructions, we established working groups under both agendas of the Partnership – Security and Prosperity. We held roundtables with stakeholders, meetings with business groups and briefing sessions with Legislatures, as well as with other relevant political jurisdictions. The result is a detailed series of actions and recommendations designed to increase the competitiveness of North America and the security of our people.

This is not a theoretical exercise being prepared so it can be submitted for review. Instead, SPP is producing an action agreement to be implemented directly by regulations, without any envisioned direct Congressional oversight.

Upon your review and approval, we will once again meet with stakeholders and work with them to implement the workplans that we have developed.

And again, the June 2005 SPP report stresses:

The success of our efforts will be defined less by the contents of the work plans than by the actual implementation of initiatives and strategies that will make North America more prosperous and more secure.

Reviewing the specific working agenda initiatives, the goal to implement directly is apparent. Nearly every work plan is characterized by action steps described variously as “our three countries signed a Framework of Common Principles …” or “we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding …,” or “we have signed a declaration of intent …” etc. Once again, none of the 30 or so working agendas makes any mention of submitting decisions to the U.S. Congress for review and approval. No new U.S. laws are contemplated for the Bush administration to submit to Congress. Instead, the plan is obviously to knit together the North American Union completely under the radar, through a process of regulations and directives issued by various U.S. government agencies.

What we have here is an executive branch plan being implemented by the Bush administration to construct a new super-regional structure completely by fiat. Yet, we can find no single speech in which President Bush has ever openly expressed to the American people his intention to create a North American Union by evolving NAFTA into this NAFTA-Plus as a first, implementing step...

And we wonder why our borders are not more secure?

More updates as things develop.

Previous postings in this continuing series:

18 wheels and a dozen...Jose's?

Pig Pen this here's the Gringo Duck...

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


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