Steven J Connolly

Entries in NAFTA (3)

Sunday
Feb192012

Still Waiting. 

 

I'm starting to think that I'm waiting for an answer to a question(s) that will never come.

Weeks ago I attended a town hall meeting in Bath featuring Congressman Charlie Bass and Special Guest Councilor Ray Burton. And my question(s) for Bass:

So I finally get a chance to ask some questions. I start out with the Congressman explaining that the Administration is now proposing a new round of trade enhancements to the Far East and the creation of a a Trans-Pacific Trade Zone comprised of China, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc. I explain that as a long distance truck driver I've spent some time in places like Long Beach, California and Laredo, Texas and I don't see how the U.S. can handle yet more imports and containers onto the already clogged infrastructure including ports, highways and rail.

Bass stated that he wasn't aware of the Trans-Pacific Trade Zone.

We'll I've since learned that that this Trans-Pacific Trade Zone and it's implications have been years in the making starting with the second Bush administration. And Bass doesn't know of this legislation?

In any case he stated to me that he or his staff would get back to me with information about this trade zone.

They havent.

Saturday
Oct222011

Sen. Ayotte Is Awesome. 

 

In today's blog I won't waste much of my time or yours by explaining some geopolitical issue and an analysis of what can be done. Inasmuch as I'd love to be like Zbig Brezinski. Dream on.

So I'll cut right to the immediate chase.

Its been a bad week for the trucking industry.

Yesterday I reported on the entry of the Mexicans into the United States and its disastrous consequences: 100,000 jobs lost, more accidents and an NAFTA like trading environment. And for the U.S. drivers that remain in the fray: yet more regulations. The U.S. Department of Transportation and Secretary Ray Lahood are poised to to enact new rules and regulations regarding what is known as hours of service, namely the 11 and 14 hour rules and the 34 hour restart. In English this means that drivers will be restricted to 10 and 13 hours of driving and on-duty time which means ultimately (emphasis added) less money for the carrier and the driver. And let's forget having a discussion about how freight moves in this country. Next time you're in the Supermarket ask the yuppie driving Volvo driver how their produce ended up on the shelves. I already know the answer:

"Too busy to be bothered." "I went to an Ivy League School." 

The same reasoning, though unstated from the from the professional and career bureaucracy in Washington, D.C. 

http://www.thetrucker.com/News/Stories/2011/10/20/LaHoodhintsofsignificantchangestoHOSinlettertosenator.aspx

So what does all this have to do with Senator Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire?

Good Question.

Senator Ayotte has stood up to the bureaucracy by amending a piece of legislation preventing the U.S. DOT from implementing these rules. This is significant because the political future of one Sen. Ayotte is certainly not dependant or influenced by legislation dealing with the trucking industry or its drivers. The senator could have glossed this over and focused on New Hampshire issues that lead to the next election, like Senator Shaheen does every day.

 

Sunday
Aug142011

They're Not Here...Just Yet. 

 

I've been following the recently enacted agreement allowing Mexican truck drivers access into the United States and New Hampshire.  

Legislation has been filed in response to this. H.R. 2407 The Protecting America's Roads Act and its sponsors Reps. Peter Fazio, Duncan Hunter, Daniel Lipzinski.

"The latest step in the Obama Administration's persistent manuverving which is assumingly intended to mislead Congress and the general public, puts the pilot program on course for permanent status." Rep. Hunter said.

I hope the legislation passes.