Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Barbara Holzer, Broadcast Manager
w. (202) 588-7716
bholzer@citizen.org

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779
kgower@citizen.org

Ben Somberg, Press Officer (regulatory matters)
w. (202) 588-7742
bsomberg@citizen.org, Twitter

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog
Facebook/publiccitizen

Follow us on Twitter

 

Dec. 7, 2007

Bush Stealthily Authorizes Full Access to U.S. Roads for Even More Mexico-Based NAFTA Trucks

Statement of Joan Claybrook, President of Public Citizen

In a stealthy maneuver, the Bush administration has boosted the threat to the public by increasing the number of Mexico-based trucking firms allowed access to all U.S. roads as part of the reckless North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) trucking “pilot program.” The Department of Transportation recently revealed an increase in the number of NAFTA trucks permitted to all U.S. highways – now 10 carriers, sending as many as 55 trucks throughout the country.

The last time the Bush administration made a public announcement about the number of Mexico-based carriers allowed to participate in the NAFTA trucks pilot program, there were only three carriers.

It has long been the tradition by this administration to bury bad news like this by sending out press releases on Friday afternoon, but in this case, the Department of Transportation (DOT) reached a new low: not sending any press release at all, but simply updating a Web page.

Both houses of Congress have passed versions of the DOT spending bill that includes provisions to shut down this dangerous folly. Unfortunately for all members of the public who must travel every day on the nation’s roads, the White House has threatened to veto the final bill. It is high time for President Bush to get out of the way and let the Senate vote on the final bill before any more lives are put at risk.

In 2001, a NAFTA tribunal ordered the U.S. to permit access to all U.S. roads for Mexico-domiciled trucking companies. The Clinton administration refused to comply with the NAFTA tribunal, citing serious safety and environmental concerns with Mexico’s trucking fleet. The Bush administration has tried since 2002 to enforce the NAFTA order to open U.S. highways to unsafe trucks. Congress has intervened repeatedly to stop the Bush administration. In September, the Bush administration tried to meet NAFTA’s dictates by launching a pilot program to allow up to 100 motor carriers from Mexico full access to U.S. highways. However, the project violates a 2001 congressional mandate that Mexico-domiciled trucking companies meet U.S. safety standards regarding hours of service, driver training and licensing, and vehicle safety before being allowed access to the nation’s roadways.

A lawsuit filed by several groups, including Public Citizen, alleging that the pilot program doesn’t meet congressional requirements is still pending in the Ninth Circuit.

###

Copyright © 2014 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.