In the early 1990s, the United States, Mexico, and Canada, all produced the North American Free Trade Agreement in an attempt to increase trade and reduce tariffs between the countries. With the creation of NAFTA, the world’s largest trading bloc was formed with a population of around 400 million people in 1997. The financial figures were also outstanding in that the three countries had a combined $8 trillion in the same year. There have been many concerns since the initiation of the agreement.
Issues over cheap labor, environmental concerns, highway safety, and who will gain control over the economy, have been facing officials for some time now.
A major issue concerning NAFTA was the ability of Mexican trucks being allowed to cross US borders. In 1995, Texas highways were supposed to be opened up to Mexico, followed by total US access by the year 2000. Due to public and political pressure, as well as safety concerns, President Clinton put a limit on the number of trucks that can enter the United States.
This creates a problem because a NAFTA panel ruled that barring the trucks violates the trade agreement. Newly elected president, George W. Bush, however, wants to open up the border and allow cross-bordering trucks to enter the US. This is a fear for many because they feel like it would be near impossible to enforce US regulations and perform proper inspections on all truck traffic entering the country. Emissions and the weight of the trucks are the two biggest key factors in regulating traffic.
Many questions have been brought up over this controversial topic, and many Texas officials believe that these questions must be answered before the border is allowed to be opened up completely.
My feelings on this topic lean more to the side that proper regulations and inspections should be performed before those trucks are allowed to enter. Any problem that would arise from Mexican trucks towards the environment or highways would probably not even be paid for by the Mexican government. That means that US citizens will more than likely pay for any problem by an increase in taxes. I also feel that by opening up the border for business, you open up the border for illegal drug trafficking. This will create more problems with drug control in the US. In addition, there will be a greater flow of illegal immigrants into the US. This will cause more of a burden on the economy, especially in Texas and California, and will take away job opportunities for those that are struggling to make a living in the US. I think that a middle ground must be established for the preservation of this agreement, but it must not be at the expense of what the US has been trying to achieve over the last few decades.