Mexican demonstration project continues to move forward smoothly

It’s been about a month now since the controversial demonstration program was launched. The FMCSA, as is their right, has now approved [cref mexican-carriers-with-authority-to-operate-in-us-updated-daily 5 Mexican carriers] who have met the super strict requirements for participation in the program.

These five carriers, with a total of 15 units cleared to operate in the U.S. are geographically diverse. From Nuevo Leon, to Guanajuato to Jalisco to Baja California, they all appear to be specialty carriers and no threat to the American owner operator.

In contrast, Mexico has approved 3 carriers, one from El Paso Texas and the other two from Southern California, authorizing a total of 30 American trucks to operate in Mexico at this time.

The critics wanted a level playing field, and how much more level is this. Double the number of American trucks permitted to operate in Mexico as vice versa. Perhaps the critics at CANACAR have a reason to be worried. With Mexican freight rates the equivalent of $2 bucks a mile, and the American propensity for “discounting”, well, you can see the picture as it unfolds.

There is no schedule at present for a reconciliation vote on the transportation surface funding bill which contains that ridiculous little provision to prevent funds from being used to “establish” a Pilot Program. (Hint! The program has long been established people), then we have to contend with a promised Presidential veto, and then a vote to try to override the veto. And if successful, I can imagine that John Hill and Mary Peters will find a way to keep this program alive. And remember, the longer the program runs, the more “DATA” that will be collected, proving that Mexican carriers can compete with their Canadian and American counterparts, in many ways safer.

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep hammering the subject. If the Teamsters and others are successful in stopping the program, and pulling funding, it will also be pulling funding for the additional Federal and State inspectors hired with funds from this program. The new scales and inspection facilities that were built or were upgraded to comply with requirements of the Pilot Program will close or be available for limited hours. The States do not have the funds to continue to pay the salaries of these troopers and inspectors. And the opponent are worried about safety? Even without the Demonstration project, there will continue to be more than 3.5 million crossings annually by Mexican carriers in the border zone. Mexican trucks will continue to be allowed to transit the United States when servicing customers in Canada, without the need for FMCSA and DOT authority and with little or no oversight. Mexican trucks will continue to be able to carry freight between the Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio Texas on U.S. highways because highway 83 runs parallel to the international border, within the 20 mile limit.

Be careful what you wish for people. You might not like what you get.