Teamsters allege Bush violation regarding cross-border truck program
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters filed a letter Monday with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco claiming the Bush administration has violated an additional law in moving forward with a contentious U.S./Mexico cross-border trucking project.
According to the letter, the Bush administration's continued operation of the project has now violated a federal budget bill, known as the 2008 Consolidated Appropriation Act, signed into law Dec. 26.
The law includes language that essentially defunds the Department of Transportation pilot program allowing registered Mexican-domiciled truck companies to move goods from Mexico across the border, and deliver them via U.S. highways. To date only a handful of the project's projected goal of 100 Mexican trucking firms have been certified to operate in the United States. A portion of the program grants reciprocal rights for U.S. trucks to operate in Mexico.
The plan has met fierce opposition from labor, trucking and public safety groups, with most citing U.S. job losses and inadequate control of safety regulations on Mexican trucks and drivers as main concerns.
The Teamsters filed suit earlier this year in the Ninth Circuit Court alleging that the program violates several existing U.S. laws and endangers U.S. citizens due to lax Mexican truck safety. Monday's letter adds the new violation to the suit. A hearing is set for Feb. 12 on the case.
Earlier this year, both the House and Senate added defunding language regarding the truck program to their individual T-HUD budget bills, but the administration continued forward with the plan. The first Mexican truck to cross the border under the plan made a southern U.S. delivery in September, just a week before both houses passed the defunding language.