Monday, March 31, 2008

NAU Theme At Truck Shows

Promoting the North American Union

Michael Howe probes notion of premeditated merger at trucking show

Paving the road to the North American Union is something several companies hope to profit from, and at least two vendors at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., are openly promoting the benefits of NAFTA.National Distributors Leasing, Inc., promotes itself as "The International Connection." Its logo consists of the flags of Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
The Canadian flag is in the background with the U.S. flag overlaid on it, and the Mexican flag placed prominently on top of the American banner.Though the staff members at the booth were not willing to discuss the goals of the company as it relates to NAFTA, the website is very descriptive."We operate heavily in the NAFTA lanes ... . We can expedite shipments to or from any of these areas as well as international shipments to and from Canada or Mexico or any point in between."NDL is an American-owned carrier based in Sellersburg, Ind., that operates primarily in the Midwest and along the NAFTA corridors.One independent owner-operator of 37 years, Collin Genge of Spring Hill, Fla., told WND he's concerned with the way the country is going as a result of NAFTA. "You don't want to get me started on NAFTA and Mexican trucking," said Genge. "It's hard enough for a driver, let alone an owner-operator like me, to make an honest living competing with the large American trucking companies, but then make us compete with the low wages of Mexican drivers. That's not good for America."

Looking at the logo of NDL, Genge was visibly troubled. "I understand that NAFTA exists and that American carriers need to do what they can to make money as a result. But look at the logo. Why is the Mexican flag overlaid on the U.S. flag? Why have the three flags at all? It's almost as if they are promoting a North American Union."Genge is also concerned about the NAFTA Superhighways."And, the company says they run NAFTA lanes. Is that the same as the NAFTA Superhighways? It's just very disconcerting," he said.Another vendor at the MATS was BESTPASS. It's affiliated with the North American Pre-clearance and Safety System, or NORPASS. The NORPASS logo is the North American continent. According to its website, NORPASS is "a partnership of state and provincial agencies and trucking industry representatives who are committed to promoting safe and efficient trucking throughout North America." NORPASS allows "safe and legal trucks to proceed unimpeded (even across the Canadian border) while enforcement resources are focused on high risk motor carriers."NORPASS is available to American and Canadian drivers, with applications available in English or French."It's basically a pre-approval to pass through the tolls and scales, even on the border. No doubt it is efficient, but when will it open up the southern border, too?" asks Genge.This is the 37th annual MATS, having more than 1,150 companies signed up to take part in the 2008 show. One of the more dominant displays at the show was from a conglomerate of about 40 different companies and 150 people from China.Genge concluded, "I guess the Mid-America Trucking Show is less about America than it was in the past."

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