WASHINGTON — If Teamsters General President James Hoffa is correct, there will never be another Mexican truck to come into the U.S. past the commercial trade zone and vice versa because the border will remain closed.
“Wall Street and big business got NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and CAFTA (Central America Trade Agreement) and the workers got the SHAFTA,” Hoffa told a rally of some 200 representatives from a local union here today in a play on acronyms. “We’re telling Washington to stop with these bad trade deals.
“We got the border closed to unsafe Mexican trucks and we’re keeping it closed. The Teamsters did that, nobody else did that – the Teamsters did that.”
Hoffa ended the rally by calling for more action.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us. There’s change going on. The tea-baggers show up and are against Social Security and Medicare,” Hoffa told those gathered at the rally. “They even want to shut down the VA hospitals. The Republicans are moving to the far, far right. We have to have a government that fights for us. We have to change everything that we’re doing to put Americans and Teamsters back to work. That’s our message. Let’s get to work.”
Congress killed the Cross Border Demonstration Project last March.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told a news conference in Mexico last week that the Obama administration had taken the first step in coming up with a new program when it convinced Congress not to prohibit a cross-border program in the 2010 omnibus spending bill.
The 2009 bill included the language that stopped the program.
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