SPECIAL REPORT: Mexican Senate votes to stall cross-border program

| 4/25/2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 – The Bush administration’s cross-border program isn’t getting a rubber stamp of approval from the Mexican government.

Tuesday, April 24, the Mexican Senate voted to negotiate a delay of the program until July. And, during that three-month delay, the Senate voted to put several things into motion aimed at fine tuning the program before opening the border.

The proposal was made to the Mexican Senate by Sen. Rogelio Rueda. His proposal was approved by a show of hands.

The passage of his proposal, directs the creation of a board of federal officials and private stakeholders to monitor the progress of the development of the U.S. pilot program and the start of the cross-border program to ensure it is in accordance with the North American Free Trade Agreement. The board is to also analyze the efficiency of the border crossings.

In addition to creating the board, Rueda’s proposal also asked the Senate to negotiate a delay of the program until July while the Mexican Secretary of Communications and Transportation works toward compromise with the U.S. Secretary of Transportation on three points.

The Rueda proposal first directs Mexican officials obtain agreements to improve the efficiency of the FAST lanes being implemented on the border with the U.S.-Mexico border.

The proposal then directs the Mexican government to assure the same number of motor carriers from each country be involved with the program.

Finally, Rueda’s proposal directs the Mexican Secretary of Transportation negotiate the existing regulations be modified to make sure the program has equal benefit for truckers from both countries.

– By Jami Jones, senior editor

A transcription of the Senate hearing was translated by Stephanie Harsh of the OOIDA staff.