Yes to free trade
We should all welcome political views from both sides of the table. But I think it very important when stressing these views especially in the open forum section of the newspaper that accurate information is communicated.
Recently President Bush did extend NAFTA's test pilot program allowing long-haul truckers from Mexico full access to U.S. highways. There was nothing illegal by doing this. Federal law allows pilot programs to last up to three years.
And please remember this program was part of the first step in opening the border to long haul truck traffic to both countries that is required under NAFTA, which was signed into law under President Clinton.
As of today only 26 Mexican carriers and 10 from the U.S. are in this program. All other Mexican carriers that are not in this program are confined to 25 miles beyond the border where goods they bring are picked up by U.S. truck drivers.
To date there have been no accidents or safety incidents involving Mexican carriers in this program and all carriers must comply with ALL applicable laws with no compromise to public safety.
Under NAFTA our total trade has more than doubled. From 306 billion in 1993 to almost 621 billion in 2002. For a better understanding of that just imagine a growth of 1.2 million dollars every minute.