TIJUANA, Mexico – The first Mexican trucking firm given tentative approval to have its trucks roll over all U.S. roads – allowed by the North American Free Trade Agreement and done via a controversial Obama administration pilot program – has flunked. One of Grupo Behr de Baja California’s rigs was so creaky that it failed inspection at the Tijuana border station.

The U.S. would have passed the company’s trucks in anyway. But the Teamsters, who have opposed letting unsafe Mexican rigs roam U.S. roads, blew the whistle on that particular semi’s failures. There’s also a 28.6 percent failure rate for Grupo Mexico trucks overall, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data show.

“We will continue our fight to keep our borders closed to unsafe Mexican trucks,” Teamsters President James Hoffa said. He called letting Mexican trucks roll over all U.S. roads “reckless.”

“The fly-by-night Tijuana operator passed a preliminary inspection last month,” even though the flunking semi was a “gross polluter,” Hoffa said. “If this is the cream of the crop of Mexican operators, we can only imagine what will be crossing our border in the future.” Opening the border would cost U.S. truckers and warehousers their jobs, undermine border security, endanger U.S. drivers, and pollute the air, he concluded.


Mark Gruenberg
Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People's World. He is also the editor of Press Associates Inc. (PAI), a union news service in Washington, D.C. that he has headed since 1999. Previously, he worked as Washington correspondent for the Ottaway News Service, as Port Jervis bureau chief for the Middletown, NY Times Herald Record, and as a researcher and writer for Congressional Quarterly. Mark obtained his BA in public policy from the University of Chicago and worked as the University of Chicago correspondent for the Chicago Daily News.