Despite an ongoing lawsuit blocking Mexican trucks from full access to U.S. highways, the Dept. of Transportation announced $46.7 million in grants Saturday to help ensure the safe operation of Mexican trucks that operate in the United States and to help improve traffic flow at U.S.-Mexico border crossings.
The funds will be used to build and improve safety inspection facilities and will be distributed to Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, which share a border with Mexico.
"The Bush administration is committed to expeditiously implementing the truck and bus provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)," Transportation secretary Norman Y. Mineta said.
Last November, President Bush opened U.S. highways to Mexican trucks beyond the 20-mile commercial border zones where they currently transfer their cargo to U.S. trucks. However, a few weeks later a coalition led by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the consumer group Public Citizen sued the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on safety and environmental grounds.