NATIONAL Senate Votes for Additional Funding, Requirements for Mexican Trucks Inspections August 3,

The National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) said it is cautiously optimistic about the Senate vote to increase funding levels for implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by $15 million beyond the Bush Administration’s original budget request.

The NAII, a leading national property/casualty trade association, has more than 690 members that insure one third of the large U.S. trucks and almost half of all private passenger autos in the United States.

The NAII noted that inspection data supports its concerns regarding the number of unsafe Mexican trucks. The current numbers of inspectors at the border are not even at levels suggested by the Inspector General three years ago, so the additional inspectors are essential.

The House DOT appropriations bill, which bans funding for processing the applications of Mexican truckers, and the Senate bill now go to a Conference Committee where differences will be worked out.