During the Bush Administration’s North American Free Trade Agreement debacles was a mostly-overlooked plan to allow trucks from Mexico onto select U.S. highways as a part of cross-border trucking for NAFTA. The plan, which was also put into place for Canadian trucking, would have allowed Mexican trucks to cross United States borders for delivery and pick up limited loads here to get them back to Mexico – in much the same way Canadian trucking operates now.
The plan cost half a billion dollars to try a decade ago and failed miserably. Because the federal highway safety rules were still in place, most Mexican trucks could not comply and so border crossings were limited to a whopping 3 a day on average.
Now, with federal deficits even higher than they were before, the Department of Transportation wants to give the cross-border plan with Mexico another try. Yes, in a time when drug cartels in Mexico are shipping huge amounts of dope into the U.S. (amidst our “Drug War”) and weapons are (supposedly) being shipped over the border into Mexico in large quantities, the DOT thinks it’s a good idea to re-instate cross-border trucking with Mexico.
As with the last time, it’s doubtful that any American trucking jobs will be lost over this new DOT plan. It’s doubtful, even, that many (legitimate) Mexican freight haulers will be economically able to cross the border at all – just like last time.
So is this a good idea? Is the timing right for this kind of thing? Most importantly, how much will it cost American taxpayers this time around?