Arizona to Subsidize Mexico Truckers




The April 11 Arizona Republic newspaper reports that state and federal agencies cannot force trucks made and purchased in another country to comply with U.S. emission rules when crossing the border into the U.S. The article states this as fact, but does not answer the obvious question of why emission spewing trucks from Mexico have to be permitted.

But, as ingenious as government is these days, the State of Arizona has come up with a fix, of sorts. Using a federal EPA grant the State of Arizona is offering Mexican truckers a deal – the State will pay for the installation of catalytic converters on their trucks.  Yup, that’s right – the same state that has been in the headlines for its border control philosophy is equipping trucks from Mexico with equipment that U.S truckers must pay for out of their own pockets. Sounds like a subsidy to me.

The article describes Nogales, Arizona and the cross border Nogales, Mexico as a dusty, hazy place with lots of air pollution from factories, open burning and dirt roads allowing clouds of dust to be kicked up for everyone to breathe.  Mexico, it reports, is doing its part by starting to pave some of the dirt roads. Never mind requiring trucks to have catalytic converters – heck, why do that when the USA and Arizona will pay for that?

According to the article one company, Ari-Son Trucking in Nogales, Sonora has had 17 trucks fitted with the new equipment.  The equipment takes about 3 hours to install, and costs about $ 1600 per truck.

An irate blog poster named John responded to this article by pointing out that months ago the US EPA issued rules requiring that all diesel powered refrigerated trucks be retro-fitted with new smog reducing equipment. He says the cost of retro-fitting in the U.S. is about $ 6500 per truck.  Needless to say, John is not happy that taxpayer funds are being used to put this equipment on Mexican trucks but U.S. truckers get no such subsidy.

I can’t explain the different cost figures presented here – the story says it costs $ 1600 in Mexico and blogger John says it costs $ 6500 here. But, either way, the point is that while claiming it is for the good of air quality in the US the State of Arizona is subsidizing Mexico truckers with our federal tax dollars.  Gee, what if those trucks need safer tires, or new brakes?  The opportunities for making our roads cleaner and safer by putting money into truckers coming from Mexico sound endless.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.