Dorgan attempts to stop Cross Border Program once again

Senator Byron \"The Dork\" DorganSenator Byron Lesly Dorgan, jumping at the command of Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, offered an amendment to the 2009 Transportation Appropriations Bill aimed at shutting down the successful Mexican Cross Border Demonstration Truck Program.

Of course, Hoffa and OOIDA are praising the efforts, but the effort at what?

The current Cross Border Program is slated to end on September 11, This amendment would not take effect until October 1 at the earliest. But it still must go to conference and be reconciled with the HOuse version of the appropriations bill, voted on by the House and the full Senate and sent to the President for his signature. It will not happen during this administration.

Congress will soon recess for it’s August break and will return with a Presidential election in full swing. The demographics of the House and the Senate will be changing. And truthfully, I have doubts that the support for this amendment will be there.

10 months into the program, no one can argue that every single one of the objections, excuses, exaggerations and out and out lies made by the opponents of this program have been disproved.

There has not been “10,000 dangerous trucks with unqualified, drugged and drunk drivers” behind the wheel as Joan Claybrook of Public Citizen tried to make you believe.

Jimmy Hoffa continues to call them “dangerous Mexican Trucks”, while ignoring the fact that there have been no accidents, no incidents, nothing at all to justify his claims.

I have personally talked to various members of LE in the course of my duties. Trooper JC Chesne at the Lafayette Lousiana scales says they are no better, no worse, than the US trucks he inspects.

Jennifer Dubose at the Mississippi Scales south of Picayune Mississippi told me her biggest problem is American drivers being caught with bundles of cash heading south.

The problems that organizations like OOIDA with their skewed statistics of companies not relevant to the program and all the rest of the critics, have not materialized nor will they.

And if this is the measure of success of this program, then it has been very successful.

We’ve seen how the Mexican companies operate. They have no desire to come to this country to haul our freight, ignore our rules and cabotage laws, abandon their rigs and disappear into the populace. They come, they deliver their loads, they return to Mexico. Just as they have been doing for the past 50 years.

They have not been involved in human smuggling nor smuggling of other contraband as some would suggest. In other words, they have been no different from us.

But keep in mind. They can stop the Cross Border Program tomorrow and the only ones effected will be the US companies participating in the program. They will be banned from operating in Mexico. Mexican companies such as Transportes Olympics and their US sister company in McAllen, Fernando Paez Transport, will continue to enjoy the best of both worlds. They will continue to be allowed to operate in Mexico and throughout the US, without restriction, as will similar Mexican companies with similar organization.

In my opinion, and on this site, my opinions and predictions have been proven correct 99% of the time, when the program ends in September, there is no reason not to declare it successful and open the border to any company who wishes to operate here, conditional on passing pre-qualifications. Will there be a mad rush for the border? Very doubtful. Economics drives the Mexican transportation industry, not any desire to operate in this country.

But still, the opponents will try to have you believe that this is all about bringing Mexican drivers to the US to take our jobs. That is a flat out lie. Nothing is further from the truth.

They say it will depress US rates and wages. Again, not an iota of truth to that.

We’ll wait and see what happens. After all, two months will be here and gone before we know it.

This is why I didn’t immediately respond to the announcement. On a scale of 1-10 this rates about a 2 in terms of importance.

Oh, and something else to consider and I touched on it earlier. It will be extremely difficult to push this amendment down the throats of Congress since the past 10 months have proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the fitness of Mexican motor carriers to operate in the United States

Any silly ass amendment that Byon Dorgan or others are instructed to introduce by the opposition will not negate our responsibility under NAFTA and will allow Mexico to successfully sue for relief before the Arbitration board, as they have previously done. Is it worth it to keep 100 trucks out of the US?

I don’t think so.