While reading news this morning I found several articles I hadn’t seen last week. And am I ever disgusted with what our government is now doing!
As of the 7th of January, apparently our government is thinking about allowing Mexican trucks back on US roads. They state that they are going to be doing background checks on the drivers and inspections on the trucks.
Great. Wonderful. I’m so glad that they’re being careful. Can you hear my sarcasm?
The problem with this whole idea is that it will take jobs away from us, American truckers. There are no two ways about it. All because some dunderhead in Washington decided it’s good for business to be able to get cut-rate shipping using Mexican trucks and drivers. Yep. Our wonderful government has now found a way to export our driving jobs to a third world country by allowing their drivers free access to our shipping lanes.
In all fairness to President Obama, this whole mess started long before he got into office. It began in 1994 with the North American Fair Trade Agreement. But when President Obama ran for office, he was backed by the Teamsters Union and we all know why they backed him, to keep American trucking jobs safe.
In 2009, the President signed off on a bill that cut the pilot program that had allowed 100 Mexican trucking companies some access to the US. The Teamsters were happy with that, obviously.
Mexico wasn’t as happy, and has upped the ante by placing tariffs on goods shipped into Mexico. In effect the Mexican government is holding the US shipping industry hostage in a petulant bid to gain full access to our shipping lanes, and our American trucking jobs.
And on January 7, 2011, our president caved in to pressure from Mexico and decided it might be a good idea to give them just that.
In my opinion, a strong president would have told Mexico to take a hike, and would have put tariffs in place on all of the money being sent south of the border by Mexicans who are already here illegally, flaunting U.S. law.
But in spite of the state of the U.S. economy, millions of Americans out of work, increasingly stringent regulations on U.S. truck drivers, and increased taxes on trucking companies, it appears that our president just sold us all out by making a decision that could hand over thousands of U.S. jobs to Mexico on a silver platter.
And it’s a one-way street. Mexican trucks can enter and travel the U.S., but it’s not safe or sane for any U.S. driver to cross that southern border with all of the chronic violence going on in Mexico.
Teamsters president, Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., said he was “disappointed.” I think that’s probably a huge understatement, considering the fact that this step is a direct slap in the face to his organization that helped get President Obama elected in the first place.
So what does this mean to U.S. drivers? It obviously means that our wages will have to come down in order for our companies to compete with Mexican companies if these companies are allowed to engage in interstate shipping on our soil.
Although President Obama stated that Mexican trucks and drivers will be ‘vetted’ before being allowed in the country, who is going to be doing that vetting, and how many will be allowed in?
Will Mexican drivers be required to undergo the same inspections and stop at our weigh stations? Will they have to follow our HOS rules? Will they have to demonstrate skills equal to those American drivers have to demonstrate via the CDL licensing process? I highly doubt it.
There are too many questions left unanswered, and I fear that they will never be addressed. This is clearly a bid on the part of our president to cater to big business and foreign governments. At the expense, once again, of the American worker. Apparently our elected officials don’t mind cutting our throats to keep the lobbyists and foreign governments happy.
It’s one thing to allow foreign interests to operate in a fair manner regarding their own cargo up to where their soil ends and ours begins. It’s another thing entirely to hand over American cargo to foreigners on our soil while starving out U.S. drivers, which is, I believe, the whole intention of this move by President Obama.
It looks to me like just another way to ‘redistribute wealth’ and in this case, it is truckers who obviously aren’t wealthy to begin with who will be paying the tab.
The whole thing just makes me sick.
Not that it will do much good, I’m sure, if the Teamsters can’t even lobby hard enough to stop it, but I’m sending off e-mails today to my state representatives and letting them know what I think about this crock of bull. I hope you will do the same.