Cato's Daniel Griswold catches an interesting provision in the omnibus appropriations bill passed by the house:
Buried in the $410 billion catch-all appropriations bill now before the U.S. Senate is a provision that would end a program that has allowed Mexican truck drivers to deliver goods to destinations inside the United States....
Under current restrictions, goods coming into the United States from Mexico by truck must be unloaded inside the “commercial zone” within 20 miles or so of either side of the border and transferred to U.S.-owned trucks for final delivery. U.S. goods going to Mexico face the same inefficient and unnecessary restrictions.
The Bush administration established a pilot program that allows certain Mexican trucking companies that meet U.S. safety and other standards to deliver goods directly to U.S. destinations, while the Mexican government has agreed to allow reciprocal access to its market. But the Democratic Congress and the new Democratic president have vowed to finally kill the program, and the provision inside the appropriations bill will probably deliver the final blow.
So much for being "very careful about any signals of protectionism." Maybe that only applies to Canada.
(Hat tip: Hit & Run)