OOIDA Submits Comments for Mexico Trucking Proposal
OOIDA (Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association submitted their official comments challenging the US-Mexico cross border trucking pilot program.
The comments focused in part on the plan’s acceptance of Mexican regulations in place of meeting current US regulations governing operation of commercial vehicles. In particular, the plan accepts Mexico’s requirements for medical qualifications and drug testing. Accepting these qualifications, they argue, would amount to an exemption being granted for Mexico-based companies. Under question is the FMCSA’s ability to grant an exemption.
Their comments include:
“The United States has undertaken no obligation under NAFTA to provide exemptions or waivers from the application of U.S. trucking laws or regulations to Mexico-domiciled motor carriers except insofar as such exemptions or waivers may also be available to U.S.-domiciled motor carriers.”
“FMCSA’s two-tier approach requires U.S. truckers to follow a gold standard in safety regulation while they compete with Mexican truckers who work under far less stringent safety and enforcement standards,” said OOIDA President Jim Johnston. “This approach is unfair to U.S truckers and degrades the level of safety for all those who travel on American highways. FMCSA’s offer of special treatment not only goes beyond our NAFTA obligations, but it violates a federal statute that prevents the U.S. Secretary of Transportation from issuing operating authority unless a motor carrier is willing and able to comply with all U.S. safety laws and regulations.”
The proposed legislation remains in the comment period, after which the DOT will have 30 days to respons.
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