3/31/09

The Teamsters and the Mexicans

So as we all know, the Mexicans are highly aggravated with we gringos.

No, this has nothing to do with guns, ammo, dope, or even Hillary and her astoundingly in-depth knowledge of Mexican history and the Catholic church.

It has to do with free trade and the Obamanistas.

Surface trade between the United States and our two Norte Americano amigos in trade, Canada and Mexico, is down over 27% between January 2008 and January 2009.

North American surface trade

NAFTA surface trade with Mexico and Canada in January 2009 is down by 27.3% over January 2008; 21.7% over January 2007; 22.4% over January 2006.

One thing that has recently happened is that the Mexicans are imposing punitive tariffs on over 90 types of US goods imported into Mexico. This is because of US foot-dragging over the Mexican truck deal.

See:

Feds outsource Mexican truck safety

How safe is that trucker? This one, dating from 2001, is quite interesting. It illustrates how much slanting is going on, from both sides.

Cross Border Truck Safety Inspection Program

Trade War

You can find a lot more, piles of stuff, by simply Googling "Mexican truck safety" without the quotation marks. There is a lot of 'noise' out there and it can be difficult to separate fact from unionized hyperbole.

The most vocal opponents are those who have the biggest stake, the unionized American drivers. I see them in the same light as I do the United Auto Workers, who have their hands out to We the Taxpayer to keep them in their union benefits and pay scales. That most of We the Taxpayer don't have those kinds of benefits and pay scales doesn't bother them a bit; they still want us to pay their freight.

The Obama regime first ended the Department of Transportation's Mexican Truck Demonstration Project, with provisions included in Porculus Americanus. This had the Teamsters dancin' in the streets:

Hoffa praises border shutdown, which article specifically harangues on 'unsafe' Mexican trucks.

The article linked below describes it pretty well, and even raises the Question about the whole schlemiel being nothing more than a sop to the Teamsters Union, Jimmy Hoffa's boys, who are headquartered in Washington DC.

Obama reverses opposition to Mexican trucking

which is a real kick in the chops for the Teamsters, who hooted and hollered in Obama's favor during the campaign. The Teamsters can join the farmers under Obama's bus. Remember that 'revisiting' of the Farm Bill thing? With the $500,000 gross sales limit for subsidies?

More tidbits:

Mexican punitive tariffs:

Mexican punitive tariffs

Mexico maintains that the United States violated the North American Free Trade Agreement by ending a pilot program that allowed a limited number of Mexican trucks on U.S. highways beyond the border area. The U.S. Senate ended funding last week when it excluded the program from a $410-billion spending bill.

"We consider this action to be wrong, protectionist and clearly in violation of the treaty," Economy Minister Gerardo Ruiz Mateos said this week when he warned that Mexico would retaliate.

Mexican trucks traditionally have been permitted only along a narrow strip north of the border to transfer cargo to U.S. trucks. Citing safety concerns, the Teamsters union and some lawmakers from both parties oppose giving the vehicles wider access.


Then we have:

Attempt to Limit Mexican Trucking in U.S. Masks Union Agenda:

Union Agenda

A recent survey by the Arizona Republic newspaper found that those Mexican trucks allowed to operate in the U.S. have a superior safety record compared with U.S.-owned trucks. Since 2003, 1.2 percent of Mexican truck drivers operating on U.S. roads have been found to be out of compliance, compared with 7 percent of American drivers. Of Mexican trucks stopped for inspection, 21 percent are ordered out of service, compared with 23 percent of U.S. vehicles that are stopped.

Although the Teamsters talk about safety, their real agenda is not to promote safer roads but to protect themselves from increased competition. The real agenda of their congressional allies is to thwart full implementation of a successful trade agreement with Mexico, our third-largest trading partner. The real objection they have to Mexican trucks making deliveries to U.S. cities is not that they are unsafe but that those trucks are driven by Mexicans. In the eyes of congressional leaders, “driving while Mexican” remains an unacceptable public hazard.


I have to agree. The real issue here is not safety concerns; that is something that can be overcome in the same way we overcome safety concerns with American trucking.

The real issue here is union protectionism, at the expense of We the Taxpayer and We the American consumer.