Rep. Charlie Gonzales, D-TX, recently said it would be at least
two years before Mexican big rigs can travel beyond U.S. commercial
zones as stipulated in the North American Free Trade Agreement, The San Antonio Express-News reported.
appeals court ruled last month the U.S. Department of Transportation
must further study the potential effect of Mexican trucks on air
quality in American cities. The department is considering whether
to fight the decision or to conduct the enhanced survey.
you exhaust the appellate process, and it needs to be done, you
have to fast-track (the study), and get it done within two years,"
at the Free Trade Alliance San Antonio's annual "View from
Capitol Hill" luncheon, Gonzalez said he thought President
Bush would try to expedite a new study if needed. That would reduce
the usual time frame of five years for such a review because a longer
delay could hurt commerce.
"a majority of the members of Congress in both parties are
not going to look at it as a priority," Gonzalez said.
December, it seemed cross-border trucking was about to become reality.
Congress required Mexican trucks and drivers to meet U.S. standards
for drug and alcohol testing, limits on consecutive hours worked
and vehicle maintenance.
in January, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco issued
a temporary freeze on the measure, as requested by Public Citizen,
the Teamsters, the California Labor Federation and the Environmental