First Mexican trucking firm allowed over all U.S. roads flunks

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.

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