The first Mexican truck authorized by a Bush administration program opening U.S. highways to trucking companies from south of the border crossed into the U.S. this morning at approximately 1:50 a.m. EDT at Laredo, Texas, headed for North Carolina, according to a report from Trucker.com.
WND research indicates Transportes Olympic, the Mexican trucking firm sending this morning’s tractor trailer north, was actually selected to be the first across the border nearly six months ago, despite the administration’s “last-minute” announcement of the carrier earlier this week – a revelation that has been described as an example of “stealth.”
The designation of Transportes Olympic actually was made at a Feb. 22, 2007, ceremony held in Apodaca, a municipality of the city of Monterrey in the Mexican state Nuevo Leon, the headquarters location of Transportes Olympic.
The government ceremony in Mexico went virtually unreported in the U.S. media.
In attendance were Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, together with her Mexican counterpart, Luis T?llez, secretary of communications and transportation, and Jos? Natividad Gonz?les Par?s, governor of Nuevo Leon.
There Peters officially blessed Transportes Olympic as the first Mexican trucking company that would be allowed to operate freely in the U.S. under NAFTA.
Gov. Gonzales Paras and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters at Transportes Olympic in February 2007.
That Transportes Olympic had been selected months earlier was not disclosed last Thursday when John Hill, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Administration, announced Transportes Olympic to the U.S. public.
Hill’s announcement came in a dramatic, surprise late-night telephone conference held with selected members of the U.S. media at 9:00 p.m. EDT, after many deadlines had past for filing Friday morning stories.
At the February ceremony, Gov. Gonz?les Par?s took the occasion to make two other declarations that have not been reported in the U.S. media.
In speaking to the group assembled at the Transportes Olympic headquarters, Gonz?les Par?s announced the Trans-Texas Corridor was not just the NAFTA Superhighway, but the “Logistical Trans-Corridor of North America,” uniting Mexico, the U.S., and Canada.
Gonz?les Par?s explained the Trans-Texas Corridor was more accurately known in Mexico as the “Logistical Trans-Corridor of North America.”
“I want to let you know how much we in this border state of Nuevo Leon have been working with our neighbor state of Texas,” Gonz?les Par?s said, “making agreements which permit us to enrich what in Texas is called the ‘Trans-Texas Corridor,’ but what we in Mexico know as the ‘Logistical Corridor of North America.'”
“We – Canada, the United States, and Mexico – have to perfect this Logistical Trans-Corridor of North America for our mutual benefit,” Gonz?les Par?s continued.
Gonz?les Par?s expanded his vision of to include the construction of a train and truck corridor that would cut through the heart of North America.
In his speech, Gonz?les Par?s confirmed what WND has previously described as a new NAFTA Superhighway, the first segment of which is the planned four-football-fields-wide Trans-Texas Corridor which the Texas Department of Transportation plans to build parallel to Interstate 35.
Explaining Nuevo Leon finds itself right at the center of this Logistical Corridor of North America, Gonz?les Par?s said Mexico “must synchronize our truck and train systems of transportation and our maritime port connections” with those of the United States, anticipating the massive quantity of freight that will need to be carried from the ports in Mexico on the Pacific to the heart of North America.
A report in the Mexican press added that T?llez also used the February ceremony to announce Presidents Felipe Calderon and George Bush had agreed to create “an economically integrated North America.”
On Friday, after discovering the report about the February ceremony in Mexico, WND phoned Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, and read him the newspaper article.
“Unfortunately, I’m not surprised,” Spencer told WND. “This confirms what we have long believed. You have to read what the Mexican government says in Spanish to know what the Bush administration is doing with Mexican trucks, or for that matter, anything else that affects Mexico and the United States.”
“The Bush administration pursues a stealth policy in the United States when it comes to Mexico,” Spencer emphasized. “The Bush administration acts like they want to hide from the American public and from the U.S. Congress what they are really doing behind the scenes to open our borders with Mexico.”
“Put simply,” Spencer continued, “the policy of the Bush administration is to be less than honest with the American public and Congress when it comes to Mexico.”
WND has experience which confirms Spencer’s comments.
WND was only able to break the news the Department of Transportation Mexican truck demonstration project was scheduled to start early this month by reading reports in Spanish on the Mexican government Department of Transportation’s website.
There, in Spanish, WND read statements by Mexican Transportation Secretary Luis T?llez announcing 37 Mexican trucking companies had satisfactorily met U.S. DOT requirements for participating in the test and the start date was scheduled to be Sept. 1.
Throughout August, DOT and FMCSA worked furiously behind closed doors to craft a highly technical regulatory response to the legal requirements of Congress.
Throughout last month, DOT and FMCSA spokesmen maintained a policy of saying nothing to Congress or to the U.S. media, even when directly asked when the Mexican trucking demonstration project was scheduled to start.
Even after Thursday’s FMSCA announcement that the DOT Mexican truck demonstration project was ready to launch, WND continued to experience difficulties getting any response from the Bush administration.
As recently as last Friday, WND was unable to receive return phone calls from DOT and FMCSA spokesmen.
As WND has previously reported, Congress in 2002 blocked the Mexican truck demonstration project by inserting into the FY 2002 DOT appropriations bill a prohibition against starting the project until 22 specified safety requirements had been met by FMCSA.
Last Thursday saw a flurry of activity as DOT and FMCSA bureaucrats worked to make sure they were in technical compliance with these Congressional requirements.
The inspector general’s report was finally delivered to Congress, dated Thursday.
Peters wrote a sign-off letter to Vice President Cheney just hours before Hill made his evening telephone call naming Transportes Olympic as the first Mexican trucking company the agency had certified.
Spencer objected to WND that DOT and FMCSA did not file in the Federal Register the final go-ahead decision.
“What happened to the 10-day period for public comment?” Spencer asked WND. “DOT and FMCSA may have complied with the letter of the law, but they where nowhere near complying with the spirit of what Congress had required.”
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