Mexican Cross Border Pilot Program officially underway as first Mexican truck arrives at Laredo

2009 Freightliner Cascadia, Transportes Olympic #76
Josue Cruz, a driver for Transportes Olympic inaugurated the new Mexico Cross Border Pilot Program when he arrived in Laredo today on his first trip to Garland Texas

An editorial caught me eye this morning, on this day that the first Mexican carrier to be granted authority to operate beyond the commercial zone enters the U.S. It reads in part;

When a nation signs and ratifies a treaty with another, it is in effect a contract between those countries.

And when one country later simply decides it does not like the terms of the treaty and unilaterally decides to stop abiding by those terms —- well, that nation isn’t behaving very honorably, is it?

The roadblocks being thrown up by groups like OOIDA and the Teamsters that have prevented the United States from honoring their contract is nothing short of dishonorable.

Today changes that as a truck belonging to Transportes Olympics of Apodaca Nuevo Leon and driven by  Joshua Cruz, 29 and a father of three from the Monterrey area. Cruz, who has been driving for Transportes Olympic since March has more than 10 years experience behind the wheel.

[pullquote]”I consider my  fleet’s access to the U.S. interior like being invited to a friend’s house. “We have to be extra orderly and very respectful. We will demonstrate that we can operate safely and efficiently.” Fernando Paez Trevino [/pullquote]

Cruz, driving a 2009 Freightliner Cascadia, unit number 76 will be pulling flatbed with a 30 foot drilling tower to Garland Texas for a 0700 delivery appointment on Saturday with Atlas Copco Drilling Solutions, which specializes in the manufacturing and marketing of equipment used in drilling and exploration industries such as oil, water, mining, among others. The tower originated from  INMAGUSA in Monclova Coahuilla and arrived on Transportes Olympics Apodaca terminal yesterday.

After leaving Apodaca this morning, Cruz arrived at Bridge #3 in Laredo to plenty of fanfare and celebration. Greeting Cruz as he began the inspection process that all of the participants must undergo each time they cross the border, was the Secretaries of Economy and Transport and Communications, Bruno Ferrari and Dionisio Perez-Jacome, respectively, the U.S. ambassador in Mexico, Anthony Wayne, and the governor of Tamaulipas, Egidio Torre Cantú.

“With this program, we’re initiating a new stage of competition, of prosperity, of regional integration,” said Bruno Ferrari, Mexican secretary of the economy.

U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne said governments “have to support the businesses in their efforts to reduce costs and accelerate trade.”

 

Following the Level I CVSA inspection by personnel from the FMCSA and Texas DPS, something not required of the Canadians when they enter the country, Cruz will proceed up I-35 to his destination in Garland Texas.

Hours before today’s  ceremony in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico announced it was suspending the tariffs. But the Mexican government warned that they would be reinstated if the U.S. does not honor the accord.

Transportes Olympic, a wholly owned Mexican company established in 1999 was also the first carrier authorized to cross during the successful 2007 demonstration project, which was defunded by Congress under threats from the Teamsters and others.

Transportes Olympics successful participation in the previous program gives them a “fast track” to permanent operating authority under the rules of the current program, something they have certainly earned and deserve.

So now we sit back and observe as this program commences and once again the Mexican carriers who are approved show once again that they are more than capable of operating in this country, complying with our rules and regulations and conducting themselves in a safe and professional manner as they have in the past.

Juan Carlos Munoz, president of Mexico’s largest trucking trade group, known by its Spanish initials as CANACAR, noted that opposition remains in Mexico. Some Mexican trucking companies doubt that the U.S. will treat them the same as American drivers.

“But we can’t cry before they hit us, as we say here in Mexico,” Munoz said. He called Friday’s activity the “first step on a long climb.

We’ll also sit back and chuckle a little at each impotent attempt to demonize the program and it’s participants as is continuing by the Teamsters and OOIDA and their allies in Congress.

And indeed it is impotent attempts as acknowledged by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) who acknowledged yesterday that he was losing the fight to stop this legal obligation of ours. DeFazio has had no success in getting his HB-2407 bill out of committee that would limit this to a pilot program. He acknowledges that he has little chance of getting an amendment into a continuing appropriations bill. Indeed, 9 out of 10 calls to Congress have been in support of the program.

And should by some strange twist of fate, the opponents succeed in once again delaying, defunding or causing the program to be suspended or scrapped, Mexico stands ready to bring the tariffs back with a vengeance, as they have every right to do.

Get used to it people! These well managed, closely monitored Mexican carriers are here to stay. Instead of beating your heads against the wall, making empty threats against the drivers, perhaps we should be looking at ways to profits from their presence. After all, Mexican trucks are nothing new to American roadways. They’ve been allowed for more than 60 years. You haven’t realized this because the Mexicans rarely do anything that brings attention to them. In other words, they operate in a safe professional manner under the same rules as US drivers and the 37,000 Canadian trucks that enjoy full access to the US with little oversight.
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