The announcement that the U.S. and Mexico have reached agreement on a border trucking program garnered swift reaction among interested groups. Both the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. (OOIDA) issued strong statements opposing the deal, Â which was announced at a joint press conference at the White House yesterday by President Barack Obama and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon.
In a statement from OOIDA expressing "outrage" at the announcement, executive vp Todd Spencer said it was "simply unbelievable" that the U.S. would agree to a deal. "For all the President's talk of helping small businesses survive, his administration is sure doing their best to destroy small trucking companies and the drivers they employ," he said.
Teamsters general president Jim Hoffa expressed similar sentiments, saying the deal "puts Americans at risk. This agreement caves in to business interests at the expense of the traveling public and American workers."
(For more on cross-border trucking, click: Fleet Owner's Special Report: Mexico: A one-way border.)
Not everyone, of course, is disappointed with the agreement.
"ATA is pleased that Presidents Obama and Calderon and their administrations have worked through their differences and have put our two countries on the path to resolving this issue after nearly 16 years," said American Trucking Assns. (ATA) president & CEO Gov. Bill Graves. "We hope this agreement will be a first step to increasing trade between our two countries, more than 70% of which crosses the border by truck."MORE