Hoffa rejects responsiblity for job losses over Mexican truck dispute

Teamsters President James Hoffa who seems to think that people still believe his lies about "unsafe Mexican trucks" despite overwhelming evidence to the contraryOn Tuesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report that looked at the effect of three trade actions/inactions by the Administration are having and will have on American workers.

One of the three actions concerned the failure to implement NAFTA trucking provisions, which have been challenged for more than 15 years. Of course, Teamsters President James Hoffa has to chime in with his usual irrelevant opinion.

The Chamber gets it exactly wrong on several levels,” Hoffa said. “First, it’s NAFTA that cost at least a million U.S. jobs. Second, Mexico imposed tariffs that are manifestly excessive, and that’s a violation of trade rules. It’s outrageous to blame the United States government for Mexico’s disregard for U.S. highway safety standards as well as trade agreements.”

Same tired, droll regurgitated crap that has been coming from Hoffa since the late 90’s when he sent gonzo journalist Charles Bowden to Mexico to get the “facts” on the Mexican trucking industry. What Bowden allegedly “found” (and which do not exist in the mainstream) were alleged drunk, drug using truckers who killed motorists with alarming regularity. Of course nothing could be further from the truth but that never stopped Hoffa from spreading his libelous claims to anyone who’d listen.

Even with the release of the Inspector General’s report in March of 2009, that PROVED, that Mexican truckers and their companies, had a better safety rating than American carriers, he still persisted with his agenda of terrorizing the general public with his ‘facts” not in evidence.

And last week, when the latest report came out from the OIG’s office, Hoffa was right there to misinform the press and the public.

Hoffa’s initial response to the report was to declare that the “inspector general report shows once and for all that the border should remain closed to unsafe”.

Of course, it said nothing of the sort. It was a Congressionally mandated report on the progress of FMCSA in implementing conditions known as 350(c) in the 2002 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. These conditions, were nothing more than Congressional roadblocks put in place at the behest of the Teamsters and others, thinking Mexico could never comply. Guess what? They did as they have with every other little roadblock disguised as a “safety” issue, thrown at them by the political lackey’s of the Teamsters and OOIDA among others.

Like his friends at OOIDA, Hoffa, is quick to back pedal from responsibility when his positions cause harm to the industry, as his continued opposition to the US fulfilling it’s NAFTA obligations has done, and like his OOIDA buddies, quick to take credit where credit often is not due. And it’s the same with this issue.

The US Chamber study shows that our continued failure to honor our obligations under NAFTA have the potential to cost 265,000 US workers their jobs. When this is combined with the failure to implement the U.S.-Colombia and the U.S.-Korea free trade agreements, “Buy American” provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“Recovery Act”), the total job losses quickly rise to almost 600,000. All during the time we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of this recession.

Hoffa, his Teamsters, and numerous other groups have used this fear mongering to block the passage of these agreements. So yes, the fault lies squarely in your lap Hoffa. You, Todd Spencer of OOIDA and all the other protectionists who have opposed this.

Needless to say, Hoffa’s claim of who is “exactly wrong” is exactly wrong. The Chamber breaks it down.

1. “First, it’s NAFTA that cost at least a million U.S. jobs” — Falsefalsefalse, and false.

2. “Second, Mexico imposed tariffs that are manifestly excessive.” — Actually, a significant amount of the harm our study has identified comes from the sheer inefficiency of the current system for moving goods across the U.S.-Mexico border. Today, a shipment traveling between the United States and Mexico requires three trucks and three drivers – a U.S. carrier, a Mexican carrier and a middleman known as a drayage hauler. This mess adds an estimated $739 million to the costs borne by U.S. consumers, even before Mexico’s tariffs kick in.

3. “Mexico’s disregard for U.S. highway safety standards” — The vehicles and drivers of Mexico and Canada must comply with all U.S. safety regulations. In fact, the U.S. Congress imposed a number of additional requirements on Mexico several years ago – requirements the Department of Transportation recently confirmed Mexico’s trucks and drivers clearly meet.  Just weeks ago, the DOT Inspector General’s audit found that Mexican trucks and truck drivers are as safe as their U.S. counterparts.

Fortunately, at the end of the day, James Hoffa is just another pathetic individual preaching to a decreasing audience.

Hoffa closed his comments with this little nugget of misinformation. It is apparent he chooses to ignore the evidence to the contrary of his assertions.

“If the Mexican government wants our border opened to its trucks and drivers, then it can live up to its responsibility to make sure those trucks and drivers meet U.S. highway safety standards,” Hoffa said.