Free Markets, Free People

Is It About What’s Best For America Or About Political Payback?

A closer look at the recent problem with Mexico – when the Obama administration, without consultation ended the NAFTA agreement which allowed Mexican trucks the ability to deliver in the US – reveals the answer to the question in the title:

We speak of the Democratic Congress’s recent approval of a law, signed by Mr. Obama, that killed any chance that long-haul freight trucks from Mexico could operate in the United States, as had been promised under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Giving U.S. and Mexican trucks reciprocal access to each other’s markets would save fuel and money. An international arbitration panel has also found that the United States is legally required to let Mexican trucks in.

Yet the Teamsters union bitterly resisted, claiming that poorly regulated trucks from south of the border would be menaces on U.S. highways.

To meet legitimate safety concerns and this country’s legal obligations, the Bush administration promoted a pilot project under which Mexican trucks, screened by U.S. personnel, could operate freely within the United States. The Mexican trucks compiled a safety record comparable to that of American rigs. Almost everyone was happy with the deal — except the Teamsters, for whom economic turf rather than safety has always been paramount.

So we now know that it was a payoff to the Teamsters for their help during the election. Mexican trucks had met the safety concerns of the critics and compiled an excellent safety record in the US. Given that, how else do you explain a move which may end up costing us billions of dollars in agricultural exports to one of our major trading partners for no apparent legitimate reason?

It certainly seems to me that at least in this particular situation, political payback took precedence over what was best for America.

Hope and change.


3 Responses to Is It About What’s Best For America Or About Political Payback?

  • This story is just one more example how the Left in America, and, by extension, Their Leader the Clown™, argues matters not based on facts but on emotion or what is best for them.

    Remember the Democrat Philadelphia debate in 2008, when Charlie Gibson told The Clown™ that lowering capital gains taxes brought in MORE money to the US Treasury, and that raising them brought in LESS money, then asked him if he would still raise them, and, quick as an eyelash, The Clown™ said that he would raise them. No facts, no basis in his argument, except “I want to raise taxes. Period.”

    It is the same with the Mexican truck business. No matter how much evidence there is that the Mexican trucks are safe, The Clown™ and His Clownettes™ continue to argument that they have to be banned from American roads.

    This is why The Left does not want to argue the facts on “global warming” or “climate change.” As one friend once told me, “They say that if it is getting warmer, it is because of global warming. If it is getting cooler, it is because of global warming.”

    With The Left, you will make better headway in an argument by speaking to a wall. At least the answers you receive will make more sense.

    • “No matter how much evidence there is that the Mexican trucks are safe, …”

      How was entry into the ‘pilot program’ determined.  A trucker 25-35 with a truck less than 3 years old?

      But that aside, its not a question of safety that irks domestic truckers.  That’s probably more a concern for the people who have to drive in and around those trucks.  Its the regulatory obligations that domestic trucker have versus Mexican truckers.  If its safety record you want to go by, there’s a bunch of domestic truckers who would be just as safe without all the rules imposed on them.  Yet no one is screaming to liberate them as loudly as they scream to open the boarders.   It’s just f’d up we advocate a system that dooms domestic entities to fail regardless of their capability. 

    • While I don’t deny that lefties are motivated mostly by emotion rather than rational thought (indeed, I question whether they have this ability), that’s not the case here: TAO made a perfectly cold decision to pay off one of his most loyal constituencies.  It wasn’t a case of, “I feel that this is the right thing to do”; rather, it was, “I owe these guys and, if I want their help in ’10 and ’12, I’d better pay up.”