Congressman Jeff Flake yesterday introduced legislation, H. R. 1611, to fund the U.S./Mexico Cross-Border Land Transportation Program, to allow Mexican trucks in the U.S.
Flake, who represents Arizona's Sixth Congressional District, issued a press release yesterday claiming that the legislation was introduced to bring the U.S. into compliance with the North American Free Trade Agreement, (NAFTA).
The legislation introduced by the, NAFTA supporting Jeff Flake, would repeal language included in the FY 09 omnibus spending bill that prohibits funding for the program that allows Mexican trucks to travel throughout the United States.
In addition to his legislation, Flake sent a letter to President Obama "to express my support for the continuation of the U.S./Mexico cross-border trucking program."
American truckers, besides expressing concerns about their job security and pollution from Mexican truck emissions, have complained about the safety of Mexican trucks and drivers, some of the drivers from Mexico can't read highway signs in English.
In his letter to the president, Flake said, "the safety argument is simply a red herring used by opponents of the program to cater to special interests and advance a protectionist agenda."
Maybe flake didn't get the word, the United States, the country he is supposed to represent, is suffering a recession with the loss of thousands of American jobs. Those special interests he refereed to in his letter to the president are American highway users with their families in the car, who don't want to share the road with unsafe Mexican truckers.
NAFTA is a free trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and, Mexico which took effect on January 1, 1994.
One of the provisions of the NAFTA agreement concerned trucking. Trucks were to have "free" access throughout the 3 countries by 1999, but the U.S. restricted Mexican trucks to a 20-mile commercial zone at the border. In 2001, a NAFTA arbitration panel "ruled" that the U.S. restrictions were in violation of NAFTA. In 2008, the U.S. House terminated the pilot program which granted limited access to Mexican trucks on U.S. highways.
Before NAFTA, the United States had a small trade deficit with Canada and Mexico, after NAFTA took effect, the U.S. developed a large and rapidly growing trade deficit with those countries.
Americans were sold NAFTA with the promise that U.S. exports to Mexico would grow faster then imports, which would create thousands of American jobs with higher wages. Instead of creating more American jobs however, over a million manufacturing jobs were lost and wages were pressured downward for a large number of Americans without a college education.
Exports to Mexico and Canada did increase after NAFTA, however, imports from both countries to the U.S. increased faster. In 1996 the trade deficit with Canada was $21.682 billion, by 2007 it increased to $68.169 billion. The trade deficit with Mexico increased even faster, from a $17.506 billion deficit in 1996 to a $74.622 deficit by 2007, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
NAFTA is truly a riches to rags deal for the United States.
Trade deficits transfer American wealth out of the U.S. economy and into another countries economy, in exchange, we get products that will eventually become worn-out and garbage.
The American Conservative Republican prays that the Republicans in the Sixth Congressional District of Arizona do find someone to replace the, NAFTA friendly, free trade and, open border advocating, Flake by the 2010 primary.
American Conservative Republican