Bennet hails deal to end U.S.-Mexico trucking flap
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., welcomed the announcement that the United States and Mexico found a way to resolve a dispute about trucking between the countries.
Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, though, said he will fight any such agreement “tooth and nail.”
Bennet hailed the announcement of a plan by Mexico to remove tariffs from U.S. trucks as key to opening markets in Mexico to agricultural interests north of the border. Colorado farmers have been “hampered by retaliatory tariffs on their exports to Mexico, our third-largest trading partner,” Bennet said in a statement. “This is a step in the right direction, and I look forward to working toward resolving remaining disputes that hinder our exports and close off our products from new opportunities and markets abroad.”
Tancredo, a Colorado Republican who mounted an unsuccessful third-party bid last year for the governorship, said any agreement was misplaced.
“Mexican trucks undercut the wages and jobs of American truckers, allow dangerous drivers on our roads, and will allow smugglers to bring in illegal aliens and dangerous drugs into our country,” Tancredo said in a news release in which he called for “Team America” to oppose the deal.
The announcement by President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon requires congressional approval.
The United States in 2007 started a pilot program that allowed up to 100 Mexican trucking companies to haul cargo into the country, but the program was canceled by Congress in 2009. That prompted Mexico to place a tariff on American agricultural products.
Other elements of the agreement call for the tariff to be lifted when Mexican trucks are allowed into the United States. Those trucks will be required to track compliance with U.S. law, the administration said. U.S. transportation officials are to review drivers’ records, ensure they understand English and require drug testing.