Not many of us would know that there is a U.S. Department of Transportation Mexican Truck Demonstration Project, or that 37 Mexican trucking companies have been approved to drive their long-haul trucks through the United States starting as early as the first of September, but the Mexican government does and that’s what they are reporting.
The Inspector General of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a report but the report was withheld from the public until very recently. Despite identifying safety problems with the program, the report did not say the Mexican trucks could not roll on American highways. Interestingly, the September 1 start occurs while Congress is still out of town.
Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, said “The Bush administration is determined to push this Mexican truck project down the throats of the American people and Congress," and further, "Reading the inspector general's report, there are many serious safety concerns that are still far from resolved, … Now we're just supposed to ignore those recommendations and let the Mexican long-haul rigs roll anywhere they want in the United States, regardless whether it's safe or not?"
Other issues of concern are possible smuggling of drugs and people into the United States in Mexican trucks free to roam across the country. Obviously, there are not enough inspectors to assure our country is protected from this potential threat. Spokesman for American truck driver groups also wonder whether Mexican truck drivers meet requirements set for American drivers and if Mexican commercial truck driver licenses or drug testing procedures satisfy U.S. standards.
A bill passed overwhelmingly by the House (411-3 on May 15th), the 'Safe American Roads Act', would essentially block the project but, in an effort to ensure Mexican trucks will begin rolling across the U.S. on schedule, the Bush administration has been urging the Senate to not take any action on the House bill. Some reporters have written that the Senate committee having jurisdiction has put on hold taking any action on the bill passed by the House. It seems the Senate committee has no plans to discuss a Senate bill comparable to the House bill until after Mexican trucks start rolling on U.S. highways the first of September.
Authorizing Mexican trucks access to American highways is only one aspect of the secret negotiations following enactment of NAFTA and the Presidents agreement to begin work on the Security and Prosperity Partnership agreement (SPP) signed by him and the government leaders of Canada and Mexico two years ago. The Bush administration has approved working groups whose activities are intended to implement SPP without any authorization from congress. The working groups themselves, their membership and work product have not been published anywhere.
It would appear the SPP working groups intend to achieve objectives set out in a May 2005 Council on Foreign Relations report. This report surely looks like a blueprint for expanding the SPP agreement into a North American Union that would merge the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a new government.
The SPP joint declaration, "Building a North American Community," stated:
“The Task Force is pleased to provide specific advice on how the partnership can be pursued and realized. To that end, the Task Force proposes the creation by 2010 of a North American community to enhance security, prosperity, and opportunity. We propose a community based on the principle in the March 2005 Joint Statement of the three leaders that our security and prosperity are mutually dependent and complementary. Its boundaries will be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter within which the movement of people, products, and capital will be legal, orderly, and safe. Its goal will be to guarantee a free, secure, just, and prosperous North America”.
The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) report also calls for establishment of a common security border perimeter around North America by 2010, along with “free movement of people, commerce and capital within North America, facilitated by the development of a North American Border Pass that would replace a U.S. passport for travel between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.”
Also outlined in the CFR report are a North American court, a North American inter-parliamentary group, a North American executive commission, a North American military defense command, a North American customs office and a North American development bank. By the way, there is now a customs port in Kansas City and plans for a Mexican customs facility which may have to be considered ‘sovereign soil of Mexico’. Documents of top executives have been uncovered and reported upon by WorldNet Daily suggesting that a Mexican customs facility “would by necessity” be considered Mexican territory. Wouldn’t that be a fine place to store people and contraband out of reach of U.S. authorities?
Mexican truck access to our country is an early program consistent with the aims of SPP; can more be far behind? Commitment to SPP may also explain why the Bush administration is dragging its feet in protecting our borders.