The new facility, San Luis II, is part of a $42 million project that will be built on 80 acres and completed by Fall 2009. Attending and speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony was Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano who said the facility is being designed to serve as a model with the kinds of features that will assure consistent freight movement between Mexico and Arizona—new technology, traffic management flow and inspection booths.
In her remarks, Peters indicated awareness of opposition to the current program that allows both US and Mexican trucks to move beyond a restricted border zone to the interior of the countries.
Saying that increased commerce between the US and Mexico has produced $332 billion worth of shipping that crosses the shared border every year, the new link for the expressway will position the region and state, “to take advantage of one of the latest and most exciting developments to occur when it comes to cross border trucking…the new ability for US truck drivers and US truck companies to compete in Mexico…. Truckers from Peoria to Portland now have an opportunity to benefit from the multi-billion dollar cross-border shipping industry.”
Focusing on the issue of the cross-border project underway, Peters said, “Unfortunately there are some who would seek to deny US truckers these new opportunities. They think people want to be shielded from competition, protected from opportunity and denied success. They think there’s nothing wrong with inefficient trucking along our border that clogs our air and jams our streets. And they think there’s nothing wrong with turning our back on billions of dollars worth of trade, opportunity and earnings.”
There are a number of legal moves by groups that include the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association to halt the cross-border trucking project. At the web site, FireMaryPeters.com there was swift reaction to the ground breaking at Yuma. Saying that there have been 3 million jobs lost because of the North American Free Trade Agreement, postings said, “We think people want to be shielded from dangerous trucks and a dramatic erosion in their pay, benefits and work standards.” Pointing directly to Peters, the comment was, “It’s bad enough that she’s still in office after defying Congress and keeping the border open. But she wants a promotion after she leaves—to Governor of Arizona. To all you residents of the Grand Canyon State: Be afraid, be very, very afraid.”