President James Hoffa said Dec. 17 President Bush's decision to
open the border to environmentally unsound Mexican trucks "has
placed the future of homeland security and public health in the
hands of exploited and poorly trained Mexican drivers."
Last May, environmental,
labor and business organizations, including the Teamsters Union,
Public Citizen, the Environmental Law Foundation and the Natural
Resources Defense Council, filed a lawsuit in the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals to block the trucks from traveling north of the
On Nov. 27,
President Bush lifted the moratorium on Mexican trucks traveling
throughout the United States. The court is currently considering
a request by the coalition for an emergency stay until the environmental
impact of the decision can be assessed.
In a Dec. 17
statement, Hoffa said "Free trade is nothing more than snake
oil when two countries don't apply the same set of rules, and tens
of thousands of American workers will pay the price."
said: "The (Department of Transportation) ignored the National
Environmental Policy Act, and with no meaningful facts to back it
up, the agency found 'no significant impact' and insisted that opening
the border would not harm the environment.
despite studies showing that Mexican trucks on average generate
150 percent more smog-forming nitrogen oxide and 200 percent more
dangerous particulate matter than U.S. trucks.
there is no system in place to systematically inspect the emissions
of trucks coming over the border from Mexico. These trucks may also
be exempt from a 1998 settlement with manufacturers requiring U.S.
trucks to remove "defeat devices" that permit them to
test clean at inspection sites but run dirty on the highway."