Election 2010 & the Mexican Truck Issue

The 2010 midterm elections came out about as expected, with the Repubs taking the House of Representatives and the Democrats retaining control of the Senate, guaranteeing two more years of gridlock and squabbling.

How does this election bode for the United States finally complying with their obligations to allow Mexican trucks access to the US under the NAFTA provisions? Better now than before when Democrats controlled both houses of the legislature and had the unions and special interests had their hands up the asses of certain Congressmen and Senators.

Senator Byron Dorgan is out. He chose not to seek reelection. Representative James Oberstar, another staunch opponent and puppet of the Teamsters and OOIDA seems to be headed for defeat in Minnesota. He trailers challenger CHIP CRAVAACK by 46-48% with 95% of the vote counted. Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, who once bought by the special interests, seems to stay bought, looks to retain his seat, however, with the change of leadership, his is but another vote.

Senator Patty Murray, who has been calling for the Obama Administration to make good on their obligations under NAFTA is expected to retain her seat after a close race.

So what can we expect during the lame duck session? I am predicting resolution to the issue. Those on the way out have no reason to continue to oppose it. And barring resolution during the lame duck session, I would imagine we’ll have something soon after the 112th Congress is sworn in January 2011. Remember, it was a Republican administration that had the balls to stand up to the union bullying and other protectionist organizations and establish the highly successful Cross Border Pilot Program.

The Department of Transportation has developed a proposal that it feels can resolve the Mexico truck controversy, but is waiting until after the Nov. 2 election before discussing the plan when members of Congress. That time has come and it’s time to unveil the proposal and set the wheels in motion.

According to a statement by DOT spokeswoman Olivia Alair:

“The United States is working with Congress and Mexican officials to identify a mutually agreeable path forward. We believe we can find a solution that both addresses the concerns voiced by some in the U.S. Congress, and keeps us compliant with our international trade obligations. The DOT is developing a new proposal that will meet congressional concerns as well as our NAFTA commitments.”

However, Jose Luis Paz Vega, the head of the trade and North American Free Trade Agreement office at the Mexican embassy in Washington said at a Oct. 15 luncheon, that Mexico would not accept another pilot program as a solution.

Paz Vega went on to say:

“If you put in place a demonstration project similar to what we had, it can begin, but it can be defunded at any time. Mexico is not willing to take that any more. We need a program that is permanent, that has certainty, and complies with NAFTA. And we’re not willing to accept anything less than that.”

It’s about time Mexico took a stand on this issue. For 15 years, Congress has been throwing roadblocks in their face, thinking each time that finally, we’ve done something they can’t comply with, and each time, Mexico has more than complied with the edicts placed before them. Finally, Congress said the hell with it and defunded the program, thinking that would be the end of it. It wasn’t. Trucks from both countries continued to operate as they did during the pilot program. Us trucks will have access to Mexico at least until February 28,2011.

But Peter DeFazio, responding to the his union masters is trying to get the US Congress to revisit NAFTA and pull the Mexican trucking provision out. Bad move Petey! What about Canada?

So the next two month will be interesting to say the least. It’s ashamed President Obama doesn’t have the huevos to use his executive power and do what’s right. After all, Reagan did so in 1982.