SPECIAL REPORT: Teamsters to DOT: Trust you? You kiddin’ me?

| 8/31/2007

Friday, Aug. 31, 2007 – A critical war of words continues in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit regarding a petition to stop the Mexican cross-border trucking pilot program on the eve of planned implementation.

Earlier this week, the Teamsters, Public Citizen and others petitioned that court for an emergency stay of the Bush administration’s charge to open the border. The U.S. Department of Transportation responded Thursday, pleading with the court to blow off the Teamsters’ petition, stating their arguments had no merit.

On Friday, the Teamsters, Sierra Club, Public Citizen and others – fired back with a reply in support of the motion for stay that basically screamed: No merit? Are you serious?

The Teamsters’ reply scoffed at the DOT’s argument that there will be “no harm” because the border will not be able to be opened entirely until a “proper program” is completed. The petitioners also ripped into the DOT’s claim that the program must start now because otherwise it will make trouble between the United States and Mexico.

“Respondents (U.S. DOT) have been making the same immediate emergency arguments for seven years now,” states the Teamsters’ document.

“Respondents cannot seriously contend that a few months delay now to make sure the pilot program is implemented in conformity with and not in violation of the laws of the United States is going to be critical after all of the past delays.”

The petition by the Teamsters, Public Citizen, Sierra Club and others requested a court decision by Sept. 5, 2007, the day before the DOT’s projected start date.

– By Sandi Soendker, managing editor