GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has accused US Transportation Secretary Mary Peters of attempting to use economic threats to scare lawmakers into supporting a pilot program to allow Mexico-based trucking companies and truck drivers to operate on highways throughout the US.
“It’s a sad attempt at economic fear mongering,” said OOIDA executive vice-president Todd Spencer. “Despite their lip service, they well know that the pilot program is outside of the law.”
The association contends that the economic interests of a few have been placed above the safety and security of many.
“The Secretary seems to be encouraging Mexico to step in and help the Bush Administration force this down the throats of Americans,” said Spencer. “Where the hell does she get off encouraging Mexico to impose fees and tariffs on US goods?”
Spencer says he finds humour in the Secretary’s contention that the cross-border pilot program presents US-based truckers with a “promise of prosperity.”
“Safety standards in Mexico simply are not on par with those in the United States, and few US trucking companies even appear interested in going south,” added Spencer. “The program is being spun as a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.
“The program is supposed to work both ways across the border, and yet there are very few signing up on either side. Big businesses want the cheap labour, but for a number of reasons trucking companies on both sides of the border don’t want to get involved.”
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