Just received this e-mail:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2007
Graham Votes to Restrict Mexican Trucks on American Roads
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) voted to end a NAFTA pilot program that allows Mexican trucks to transport goods throughout the United States. The Senate voted 72-24 to cut off all funds from the program.
“This problem has been brewing for a decade and now it has finally come to a head,” said Graham. “There are very serious safety concerns about Mexican trucks on American roadways. The pilot program has holes that will make important safeguards unenforceable. In America, we have standards and those standards are not being met. Until I am convinced the safety of Americans can be protected, I can not allow this program to continue.”
The Mexican truck program was created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the pilot program began September 6. According to a recent report from the Department of Transportation Inspector General the pilot program has not developed and implemented complete, coordinated plans for checking trucks and drivers participating in the demonstration project as they cross the border. There also remain questions about the program relating to insurance, equipment defects, driving time and environmental impact. The provision passed as part of the Fiscal Year 2008 Transportation Appropriations Bill. The bill must now go to conference with the House of Representatives before it can be sent to President Bush.