Por Favor, Mexico: Reinventing the Border Truck Program

By March 12, 2009Trade

AP, “Administration to reinvent Mexican truck program“:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration will try to reinvent a program to allow Mexican trucks full access to U.S. highways.

An 18-month-old pilot program that allowed a few Mexican trucks beyond a border buffer zone died when President Barack Obama signed a sweeping $410 billion government spending bill on Wednesday. The bill barred spending on the pilot program.

A spokeswoman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Debbie Mesloh, said Obama has told the office to work with Congress, the Transportation and State departments and Mexican officials to come up with legislation to create “a new trucking project that will meet the legitimate concerns” of Congress and U.S. commitments under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

That statement presumes it was “legitimate concerns” of Congress that led to the program being killed. And presumes that you can reconcile those “concerns” with the U.S. NAFTA commitments.

But the braking force was organized labor, wasn’t it? Since the Teamsters are fundamentally opposed to NAFTA, there’s no reconciling to be had. And the United States adds more evidence to its reputation as being an unreliable trading partner.

(Hat tip: Brian Faughnan, who comments, “Mexico is within its treaty rights to retaliate, and they’re likely to begin the process before long. Without even addressing the issue, Obama has soured relations with one of our most important trading partners and energy suppliers.” Well, to be fair, the last in a long line of sour-ers.)

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