Wednesday, March 04, 2015
In a letter to United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa called on him and the administration to protect highway safety and reopen negotiations over Mexican cross-border trucking as part of the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) announced in January that it would move forward with opening the border to trucks domiciled in Mexico later this year despite the DOT Inspector General issuing a statistically inconclusive report on the pilot program. Due to the lack of data, the IG could not determine with any degree of confidence the future safety performance of Mexico-domiciled carriers.
“Given the paramount importance of safe highways throughout the continental United States, and given the illegitimacy of the pilot program data and the consequent failure of the DOT to meet its statutory obligations and given the excessive and unfair Mexican retaliation in the past, it is clear the Administration has no better option than to reopen negotiations with the Mexican government in the context of the TPP talks,” Hoffa stated in the Feb. 24 letter.
Hoffa was appointed by the president to two trade advisory committees – the Labor Advisory Committee (LAC) and the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN).
“As the General President of America’s largest transportation union, I want to offer all the resources of the Teamsters Union to help you make the case to the Mexican government and to the American people that highway safety trumps foreign commercial and investment interests, as a matter of U.S. trade policy,” Hoffa wrote.