Unsafe Mexican Trucks Entering U.S. Pose Risk to Unsuspecting Motorists
After years of controversy and dispute, the United States recently reached a landmark agreement with Mexico that will allow Mexican truck drivers to deliver goods anywhere within the U.S.
Signed in Mexico City by representatives of the U.S. and Mexican governments on June 29, 2011, the agreement allows cross-border trucking for the first time in 15 years.
Mexico is notorious for using unsafe trucks and employing unqualified drivers.
Designed to save the U.S. nearly $2 billion in exports each year, the agreement states that Mexican truckers who comply with U.S. safety standards and who operate under U.S. laws can deliver Mexican goods anywhere within U.S. borders.
Previously, Mexican truckers entering the U.S. were allowed to only drive 25 miles past the border, even when complying with U.S. safety standards.
The U.S. has been reluctant to enter into similar free-trade agreements for years. However, steep retaliatory tariffs and increasing pressure from the Mexican government have caused a dramatic reassessment to the country’s trade practices.
Citing safety concerns and significant drug problems in Mexico, the Teamsters also are wary of Mexican truckers entering the U.S. on transportation jobs.
According to one article examining the safety of Mexican truckers entering the U.S., between 2007 and the first 6 months of 2011, inspectors from the Texas Department of Public Safety issued more than a million violations to the 1.2 million Mexican trucks and truck drivers that were inspected at two sites near El Paso.
Inspectors at the two sites also placed 31, 519 trucks out of service and disqualified 625 drivers from entering the U.S. with their goods.
Though this is a pilot program, Mexican trucks will be coming across U.S. borders in large numbers. Though export fees will benefit, it is clear that border costs will go up as additional inspections of Mexican trucks are necessary to ensure they are safe. If inspections are not increased, U.S. motorists can look forward to increased truck accidents on their roadways.