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Mexican Trucks Are Coming ... How Do You Like the North American Union So Far?

JBS | September 12, 2007
Larry Greenley

The issue of Mexican trucks delivering goods throughout the United States is a revealing aspect of the process whereby the United States is being merged with Mexico and Canada on the basis of the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the 2005 Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) to form what is popularly known as the North American Union (NAU).

Follow this link to the original source: " Senate Amendment Would Bar Funds for Mexican Truck Pilot Program "

COMMENTARY:

After simmering on the back burner for many years, suddenly the issue of Mexican trucks has come to a boil for organizations as varied as the Teamsters, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the Sierra Club, Public Citizen, and the John Birch Society. Just this past few days the first one or two Mexican trucks have made deliveries deep within the United States.

The issue of Mexican trucks is a revealing aspect of the process whereby the United States is being merged with Mexico and Canada on the basis of the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the 2005 Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) to form what is popularly known as the North American Union (NAU).

In May the House voted 411 to 3 in favor of stopping the Bush administration?s proposed pilot program of allowing 100 Mexican trucking companies to begin making deliveries of goods throughout the United States. Then, on July 24, the House added an amendment by voice vote to H.R. 3074 (Appropriations for Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development), stating:

Amendment to prohibit the use of funds to be used to establish or implement a cross-border motor carrier demonstration or pilot project or program to allow Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate beyond the commerical zones on the United States-Mexico border. ( Congressional Record , H8347, July 24, 2007 )

The Senate is expected to vote tomorrow (Sep. 12) on whether to add a similar amendment to their version of H.R. 3074. [UPDATE: At 7 PM on Sept. 11, the Senate approved an amendment to prohibit a pilot program for Mexican trucks by a vote of 74 to 23 .] In a related development, on August 31 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco denied an emergency stay sought by the Teamsters union, the Sierra Club, and Public Citizen to halt the start of the pilot program. In general, there is widespread opposition to permitting Mexican trucks to deliver goods throughout the U.S. based on concerns over national security, highway safety, and jobs.

Nevertheless, virtually all of the public debate over the Mexican trucks issue is missing the main point. Congress created this problem by approving the NAFTA agreement in 1993, which created NAFTA institutions, like the NAFTA Secretariat, with the power to overrule both the U.S. Congress and U.S. Courts. The NAFTA Secretariat proudly describes its supranational status as follows:

The NAFTA Secretariat is a unique organization established pursuant to Article 2002 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It administers the mechanisms specified under the NAFTA to resolve trade disputes between national industries and/or governments in a fair, timely and impartial manner. (emphasis added)

The NAFTA agreement also included provisions for trade in "cross-border services," such as trucking services. Although the agreement provided the basis in principle for Mexican trucking firms to begin making deliveries throughout the U.S. immediately, Annex I of the agreement delayed authorization for Mexican cross-border trucking services until the end of 1995. After 1995 the U.S. refused to permit Mexican truck deliveries to begin.

Mexico then appealed to a NAFTA "Arbitral Panel," authorized by Chapter 20 of the NAFTA agreement. In its final report on February 6, 2001 , the panel concluded:

On the basis of the analysis set out above, the Panel unanimously determines that the U.S. blanket refusal to review and consider for approval any Mexican-owned carrier applications for authority to provide cross-border trucking services was and remains a breach of the U.S. obligations under Annex I (reservations for existing measures and liberalization commitments), Article 1202 (national treatment for cross-border services), and Article 1203 (most-favored nation treatment for cross-border services) of NAFTA.

Although Congress, the Teamsters, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Sierra Club, and Public Citizen are trying hard to stop the Mexican truck pilot program on the basis of technical exceptions to the NAFTA agreement, they will very likely be unable to prevail in the long run. The overriding problem is that Congress set up NAFTA entities, such as the NAFTA Secretariat, tribunals and arbitral panels, superior to Congress in authority. Since the Mexican trucks issue is not the first, nor will it be the last, important issue that NAFTA institutions have been empowered to decide for us, Congress needs to make use of NAFTA?s Article 2205 :

A Party may withdraw from this Agreement six months after it provides written notice of withdrawal to the other Parties. If a Party withdraws, the Agreement shall remain in force for the remaining Parties.

Congress should vote to give notice to Mexico and Canada that the U.S. is withdrawing from NAFTA. Then Congress would be free to legislate to preserve our national security, public safety, and American jobs without being overruled by NAFTA panels. And, more importantly, U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA would destroy the very framework of the whole North American Union merger process.

To help get the ball rolling on repealing NAFTA by withdrawing from it, the John Birch Society has made available online a model "Repeal NAFTA" resolution for state legislatures . We expect many states to adopt this type of resolution in 2008. A similar campaign in 2007 to block the North American Union led to the introduction of anti-NAU resolutions in eighteen states. In three states both houses passed their anti-NAU resolution. In three other states one house passed such a resolution.

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