TEAMSTERS & OOIDA focus on “Unsafe Trucks” Crossing border in NAFTA negotiations is a “False Narrative”

Opponents of Mexican Trucks pushing 10 year old debunked claims

The corrupt and contemptible James Hoffa continues to push the false narrative about old and unsafe Mexican trucks to the NAFTA 2.0 negotiators. Claims that have been firmly dismissed from various lawsuits.

In the fourth round of NAFTA 2.0 negotiations in Washington D.C. the issue of cross border trucking was brought forward for the first time.

James Hoffa, Teamsters’ president, doesn’t want anyone to forget the safety of trucks operating on American and Canadian roads. In an op-ed piece for The Detroit News, Hoffa noted that Teamsters chapters in the United States and Canada have joined forces to push an initiative for policy changes that will be beneficial for safety.

The Teamsters are trying to convince negotiators from Canada and the United States to be  focused on 3 goals: improving working conditions, boosting truck safety and creating “a level playing field” since it involves Mexican drivers.

Hoffa emphasized, “Not only do truckers stand to benefit, but American lives are at stake. Old and unsafe trucks put our highways at risk and pollute our air, putting the public’s health in jeopardy.”

Hoffa claims that Mexican trucks lack some of the safety technologies American models have, and that is “not a price people should pay for bad policy.” This is a lie Hoffa and OOIDA have been pushing for decades.

We’re all concerned about unsafe and dangerous trucks on U.S. highways, as are the Canadians on their highways and the Mexicans on theirs.

But in Hoffa’s tired, worn out mantra, the only old and unsafe trucks come from Mexico, despite the fact that Mexican trucks operating on U.S. highways are newer and with largely better maintenance programs than their US counterparts. The drivers are better trained also, something the US still doesn’t require of CDL holders here.

Take a look at how “unsafe” Mexican trucks really are. Compared to the violation statistics for Canadian and U.S. trucks, they barely make a blip on the radar.

5 year OOS rate for all Mexican carriers operating in the Commercial Zones and beyond


Mexican carriers enjoy a much lower out-of-service rate than their American counterparts. So how, according to the corrupt James Hoffa, do they pose a risk to highway safety.

Now we come to OOIDA’s response, which doesn’t really have a dog in the fight, other than President Jim Johnston’s irrational hatred of Mexican and Mexico.

In a recent article titled OOIDA optimistic NAFTA redo can fix Mexican cross-border trucking, OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer spouts the same illogical and false premise they’ve used in all of the baseless and frivolous, and yes, failed, lawsuits they’ve filed trying to stop Mexican trucks.

“It would be nuts to leave this in the agreement, giving Mexico something to use as a hammer to collect tariffs on American goods. There is no reason to leave it in the agreement. It doesn’t make economic sense. The safety regime in Mexico is in no way compatible with trucking regs here and won’t be for a long time. The FMCSA pilot program? What a sham.”

The sham of the pilot program? That it was successful. That all the challenges thrown at the Mexican trucking industry, challenges that are not in NAFTA, were successfully met and in most cases succeeded, by those who chose to accept the challenges.

NAFTA simply says

, “equal national treatment”. Nothing more, nothing less. For Canada, for Mexico and for the United States. Mexico and Canada have complied, the United States, in regards to Mexico, not at all.

Mexican DOT
Mexican Federal Police DOT Unit. [SPECIAL TRANSPORT GROUP] I spent an interesting half hour with these guys recently as they were conducting random compliance checks on big rigs between Monterrey and Reynosa.
We got a good laugh when I told them that some idiots, (OOIDA & Teamsters) claim they do not exist. Ask a Mexican trucker. They are definitely on the job.
The safety regime in Mexico not being compatible? Actually it is much more challenging and strict. It puts the onus on the driver to comply or face severe consequences, including prison and revocation of CDL privileges from months to permanent. The responsibility for compliance is on the driver and rarely is there a second chance. Unlike the US where our safety regs are mostly a vehicle for revenue enhancement rather than true safety

Here is a letter Spencer and OOIDA sent to the Us Trade Representative before the start of negotiations on NAFTA 2.0, which incidentally, isn’t going anywhere, thanks to the idiotic demands of Trump.

“The original NAFTA agreement provided that the U.S. and Mexico would allow each other’s trucks to carry goods across the border to make deliveries anywhere inside their respective nations. However, the United States Department of Transportation continues to make unacceptable special accommodations to Mexico-domiciled motor carriers that the U.S. did not promise or agree to under NAFTA.

“This failed provision has allowed Mexican trucking companies and drivers that are not held to the same, rigorous U.S. safety, security or environmental regulations to operate on American roadways. Following the completion of a dubious Obama administration pilot program, Mexican trucking companies are currently taking away jobs and profits from American drivers and motor carriers. At the same time, Mexican trucks are endangering the motoring public. In fact, the 2016 annual DOT safety statistics showed that the crash rate for Mexican-domiciled carriers was 2.8 times higher than U.S. carriers.

“Mexico’s promise of an equally open border and nationwide access to U.S. motor carriers and drivers is, for all practical purposes, illusory. Since the original agreement, the Mexican border territory has become more dangerous because of drug smuggling and gang violence, providing little incentive for U.S. carriers to engage in business there. The state of Mexico’s infrastructure and the absence of police security in Mexican states far outweigh any economic incentive there might otherwise be to move freight south of the border. Additionally, Mexican trucks have been a conveyance for contraband and undocumented immigrants.”

They lies and false narrative that OOIDA thrives on and is once again pushing is high-lighted in BOLD ITALICS.

After losing lawsuit after frivolous and baseless lawsuits in Federal courts over the past decade, Teamsters and OOIDA are using the same arguments tossed by the Courts to try and influence and administration that hasn’t a clue about the issue, who like Jim Johnston, have an irrational hatred of Mexicans.

But will they succeed? We’ll discuss that in the next article.


This post is part of the thread: NAFTA 2.0 – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.