San Diego Union Tribune

July 26, 2007

House ban on Mexican trucks irks federal agency


WASHINGTON – U.S. transportation officials expressed disappointment after the House voted to block a program granting Mexican trucks temporary access to U.S. highways.



The measure must pass the Senate and be signed into law by President Bush, who supports opening America's highways to Mexican trucks.

The ban was part of a $104 billion transportation spending bill approved by the House Tuesday. It would prohibit the Department of Transportation from spending any money on a one-year experiment in cross-border trucking, effectively shutting down the program.

The Senate is not expected to consider its own version of transportation spending legislation until September.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, a key opponent of the Mexican-trucking plan, said the House ban would force transportation officials to “listen to the concerns of Congress and the American people.”

Hunter and other critics contend the administration has ignored safeguards for the program mandated by Congress.

The Transportation Department issued a statement after the vote saying it “serves merely to throw another roadblock in the path of a program that will lower consumer costs, help our economy and allow U.S. truckers to compete in Mexico for the first time ever.”

Mexican trucks have been banned from traveling freely throughout the United States since 1982.


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