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Panel OKs Bill to End Mexican Truck Travel

August 7, 2008

A U.S. House committee recently voted against continuing a pilot project that allows Mexican trucks to travel throughout the United States, according to the San Diego Tribune.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., the chief sponsor of the bill, said poor safety standards in Mexico make truck drivers from that nation a danger to the American public. U.S. transportation officials dispute that allegation.

DeFazio's legislation would prevent the one-year pilot program from being extended past its scheduled end on Sept. 6. The bill could get a vote by the full House when lawmakers return from their summer break in September.

The program allows U.S. carriers to haul cargo into Mexico for the first time. Twenty-six Mexican carriers and 10 from the United States are enrolled.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the bill on a voice vote.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which oversees the program, said in a statement that it was disappointed by the vote. The agency said the program "fulfills our obligations under NAFTA and benefits U.S. consumers and truck drivers while operating in a safe manner." The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, an opponent of the pilot project, applauded the vote, according to the San Diego Tribune.

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