President Clinton assures Teamsters he'll keep unsafe Mexican trucks off U.S. roads

In a speech to the Teamsters, President Clinton said he did notintend to allow the trucking rules (U.S.-Mexican border) to be changed until it's "safe." The president recently attended a dinner honoring the Teamsters' general president, James P. Hoffa. Clinton's visit to the Labor Research Association dinner marked the first time a sitting president has appeared publicly with a Teamster leader since Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his candidacy for a third term at a Teamsters' meeting in 1944.

Under the provisions of the original agreement, the border states were to open on Dec. 18, 1995. This opening was delayed and has still not happened. Under the original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), phase two would have been the opening of the border to a free flow of Mexican truck traffic on Jan. 1, 2000. While it is unlikely that the full opening of the border would proceed when phase one is still under a moratorium, the Teamsters found Clinton's visit to be especially significant as the president indicated he would not open the U.S.-Mexican border on Jan. 1.