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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 24, 2009 at 2:44 PM

The Mexican truck ban

Tell the whole story

The Associated Press

In this 2006 photo, Robin Hvidston, right, and Raymond Herrera, protest as a truck entering the U.S. from Mexico leaves the California Highway Patrol Otay Mesa Inspection Station in San Diego.

Editor, The Times:

Your editorial “Banning Mexican trucks harms Washington” [Times, Opinion, March 23] does not tell the story completely or correctly. The idea of having Mexican trucks cross the border freely is an issue because Mexican trucks do not meet U.S. trucking standards.

U.S. trucking interests bought the Mexican trucking firms as an opportunity to reduce their costs by undercutting American trucking labor and putting Americans out of work. Why we would want to do that, especially now?

The use of such trucks was opposed strenuously by the states that border Mexico because the Mexican trucks are substandard in ways that are not only unsafe but damage the roads they ride on. States pay for the maintenance of those roads but get no benefit from the lower costs of trucking. Indeed, states lose revenue because those trucks don’t pay state taxes.

Lose state tax money and increase the cost of road maintenance? Why would we want to do that?

— Leonard David Goodisman, Bothell

The trucks are not the same

Let me correct your statement that “Mexican trucks are the same sort as used in America.” They are the same brands, but they — for the greatest part — are not the “same sort.”

American-based trucks get regular safety checks, maintenance and repairs. The trucks running the — and I use the word loosely – “highways” of Mexico are beat up, abused, seldom get any maintenance and are basically worn out. They are driven by drivers who generally speak little or no English, read little or no English — such as on road signs — and have little or no knowledge of, or regard for, laws that govern trucking in the United States.

We need to maintain the old rules where cargo was handed off at the borders. The trucking business is tough enough in America to make a living. We don’t need to be giving it away.

— Richard Quint, Lake Stevens

Payback

The editorial is right on. However, to say that “some people” benefit from the Mexican trucking ban is disingenuous.

Why don’t you state the facts, that the ban was enacted to please the Teamsters union.

This is known as payback time!

— Norman R. Schultz, Kirkland

Comments | More in Mexico, trade

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