US Finally Fulfills Treaty Obligations, Maybe

After more than a decade, the US may finally allow Mexican truckers on US highways, something we actually agreed to in NAFTA:

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco late on
Friday denied an emergency petition sought by the Teamsters
union, the Sierra Club and consumer group Public Citizen to
halt the start of a one-year pilot program that was approved by
Congress after years of legal and political wrangling.

I guess I can understand the Teamsters attempt to have the government shield them from competition -- that has practically become a national sport.  And I presume that the Sierra Club has some environmental concerns with Mexican trucks, though that seems flimsy given trucks must meet US environmental requirements and my guess is that Mexican trucks are at least as fuel efficient as US trucks.   But how can a nominal consumer group possibly justify this action?  Blocking competition in any part of the economy can only increase prices and reduce choices for consumers, particularly in an area like trucking that has almost no impact on the safety of the products actually being shipped.   I wish I could say this was some strange exception, but  consumer groups have for years backed protectionist efforts that do nothing but hurt consumers.

Via Cafe Hayek

  • bbeeman

    Well, Public Citizen has for some years been little but an extension of the left fringe. I think I'd have been more surprised if they had not been front and center on this. If it's pro organized labor, or pro more government control, there you will find Public Citizen.

    I'm not convinced that we will have trucks that really meet the standards, and am quite sure that the drivers won't meet our standards (based on a couple of incidents in the last year here involving illegal drivers that got into trouble because they simply couldn't understand English signs or didn't know the rules of the road).

    But we agreed to the deal, and I do agree that we shouldn't have dunced around this long about honoring our agreement.

  • I've spent some time working in the trucking industry near the border. The funny thing is that most of the truckers down here by the border (on the US Side) are Mexican independent contractors. A lot of them actually live on the Mexican side of the border. I don't think the changes are going to be nearly as drastic as anyone imagines.

  • Are they really "consumer" groups, then?

  • hanmeng

    "Consumer" groups indeed. That's a real pet peeve of mine. What happens is that these groups decide consumers need protection from various sources, and they believe the best way towards that protection is by regulation. So it would be hard for them not to be left-wing.

    The funny thing is, for all their pride about being "liberal", the result is often less choice and higher prices for everyone. They claim to be in favor of freedom of choice, but that freedom doesn't necessarily extend to what I want to buy.

  • faultolerant

    Ya gotta love the "libertarian mentality"....

    So, we get more trucks that are unsafe, more drivers that are unsafe...and a few more dead Americans. I guess it's OK to kill a few innocent families so that libs can buy ever more cheap crap at Wal-Mart.

    That's some trade off.....

    Libs are a funny group: Hypocrites one and all. Bitch and whine when it's not your ass on the line, but let a lib have a beef with somoeone and they're all "law and order". What a miserable bunch of two-faced, dishonest shits.

    At least the Teamsters are honest enough to argue that Mexican truckers are gonna hurt their incomes. Libs hide behind some notion of "consumer fairness", and like the lead-tainted imports from China, are more than happy to sacrifice a few more folks' lives on the alter of cheaper imports.