After years of negative votes in Congress and the opposition of the American people, on October 21 Barack Obama allowed the first Mexican truck to cross the border at Laredo, Texas and head north to deliver door-to-door service of its load of industrial equipment. This implemented an agreement quietly signed by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in Mexico City in July with Mexico's secretary of Communications and Transportation. Congressman Duncan Hunter calls this deal a major anti-jobs program, saying: "We're literally taking good jobs here in America and passing them over the line to Mexico." Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Independent Drivers Association, a non-union trade association, said 100,000 trucking jobs will be lost.
The Mexican company that was first in line to cross the border was Transportes Olympic. The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration immediately granted it "Permanent Operating Authority," instead of making the company abide by the specified 18-month waiting period, which means Transportes' trucks will not have to be inspected at the border every time they cross. The Obama Administration also announced that all Mexican trucks participating in this project will be given Electronic On-Board Recorders equipped with global positioning capabilities and paid for by the U.S. taxpayers, and that U.S. trucks must install similar equipment at their own expense. U.S. taxpayers are also being required to pay the cost of replacing old mufflers on dozens of Mexican trucks at a cost of $1,600 each.
The excuse is that this will improve air quality on our highways. But again, U.S. truckers are required to buy and pay for their own mufflers.
Listen to the radio commentary here: