Hoffa testifies before Senate panel, urges stop to Mexican border opening
Mar 08,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

Hoffa Raises Serious Concerns about Public Safety, National Security

WASHINGTON - International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa testified today before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development to voice the union's opposition to the Bush administration's recent decision to allow unsafe Mexican trucks to operate throughout the United States.

"First it was the Dubai Ports debacle, now it's the cross-border trucking debacle," Hoffa said. "President Bush consistently risks our national security by giving unfettered access to America's transportation infrastructure to foreign companies and their government sponsors."

Hoffa questioned the logic behind the implementation of this pilot program while serious safety and security issues remain unresolved.

"The Bush administration is playing Russian roulette with highway safety and national security," Hoffa said. "The resources do not exist to carry out an aggressive oversight and enforcement program."

The Teamsters Union has led efforts to keep the border closed for the past 12 years. Just two years ago, the Department of Transportation Inspector General found that the Mexican government and Mexican motor carriers did not meet congressionally mandated requirements.

"The Mexican government has had 15 years to address truck safety and they have failed miserably," Hoffa continued. "They have had 15 years to implement a national computer system like the U.S. and they have failed miserably. They have had 15 years to create driver training and safety programs and they have failed miserably. They have had 15 years to create driver protocols like drug testing and physicals and they have failed miserably. I ask that you not permit this program to move forward."