Fears that pro-Teamster protectionists in Congress would seek to kill the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Cross Border Demonstration Project”, that has allowed a carefully selected group of Mexican trucking operators full access to the U.S. road network have been realized. The Supplemental FY 2009 Omnibus spending bill (aka “Porkulus II”) that is currently being rushed through Congress by the Democrats contains sections (SEC. 135) that impose onerous new safety inspection requirements on the Mexican carriers as well as (Sec. 136) directly barring new funding for the USDOT pilot program. Since it is unlikely the White House will veto the legislation, which is a violation of U.S. obligations under NAFTA, it is likely to become law.
As we reported last week, the superfluous unloading of the Mexican trucks, warehousing and then re-loading of cargoes onto U.S. trucks at the border will no doubt pad the Teamsters’ union dues receipts, but it will also add up to $400 million per year to the price of Mexican imports, which will be passed on to American consumers.