OOIDA first out of the gate responding to proposed Mexican Truck Agreement with the same old BULLSHIT

Todd Spencer - "You can't fix stupid"

As expected, Todd Spencer and OOIDA quickly released a statement opposing any effort by the FMCSA and the Obama administration to comply with out obligation under NAFTA. Our non compliance having cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs and a significant amount of market share due to the perfectly legal retaliatory tariffs Mexico imposed for our non compliance.

Here is OOIDA’s statement: (Our opinion appears in between the paragraphs)

The largest trade association representing truckers reacted to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s announced intention to lay the groundwork for a program to open American roads to trucking companies from Mexico.

What OOIDA does not want to admit or be known, is that American roads have been open to legacy Mexican trucks for more than 50 years. And some of the carriers who participated in the original Cross Border Pilot Program still enjoy full access to American roads by virtue of legally established US subsidiaries.

“With so much focus in Washington on creating jobs, it’s a bit shocking that the administration would pursue a program that can only rob U.S. drivers of their jobs,” said Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

This statement is pure fear mongering by Todd Spencer, more of the same that he has been spewing for more than 15 years. Fact: There is nothing in the NAFTA agreement that would suggest nor permit wholesale importation of drivers from Mexico to take American jobs. And there has been little interest in vast amounts of Mexican domiciled trucks wanting to come and operate in this country.

“While we appreciate that the administration is proposing to allow Congress and the public to weigh in on a future trucking program with Mexico, they seem to be missing the main issue at hand,” continued Spencer. “The onus is upon Mexico to raise their regulatory standards, not on the U.S. to lower ours to accommodate their trucking industry.”

This is more misinformation from Spencer. Mexico’s regulatory standards are Mexico’s business and they seem to work for the Mexicans. Listening to overnight trucking radio, there is not a day goes by without a report of a major truck accident on US highways. In Mexico, maybe once a month, if that. Mexico is required to meet our standards when operating within the United States, something they demonstrated they were more than capable of doing during the Cross Border Pilot Program

OOIDA contends that to ensure the safety and security of U.S. citizens, Mexico-domiciled trucking companies and truck drivers must be required to comply with the same level of safety, security and environmental standards that apply to their U.S.-based counterparts, not only while they are operating in the U.S., but also in their home country. To date, Mexico has failed to institute regulations and enforcement programs that are even slightly similar to those in the United States.

What Spencer suggests here is outlined in the concept document, something I am sure he read but has conveniently overlooked.  The majority of Mexican carriers, the major ones who would take advantage of this program are already vetted under the C-TPAT regimen and FAST (Free and Secure Trade). In addition, all drivers must have a valid Mexican passport, US Visa and a valid I-94 Entry/Exit document. To obtain the latter, a complete background check is conducted by the US government. Again, Mexico’s regulations work for them and their only requirement is to comply with United States standards when operating within our borders.

“Mexico has been bullying our government into allowing their trucking companies to have full access to highways across the U.S. while refusing to raise regulatory standards in its own trucking industry,” Spencer continued. “Mexico’s regulatory standards aren’t even remotely equivalent to what we have in the U.S.”

Mexico has not been “bullying” our government into doing anything. Mexico has simply demanded that we comply with the promises we made when we signed on to NAFTA. Nothing more, nothing less. Spencer is correct. Mexico’s standards are not remotely equivalent to what we have in the US. In the US, our government thinks they can micro manage every segment of the trucking industry. In Mexico, SCT sets the standards for the transportation industry and relies on the drivers sense of personal responsibility to comply. Non compliance in Mexico results in loss of license and imprisonment in some case. Powerful motivation to follow the rules.

“Every year, U.S. truckers are burdened with new safety, security and environmental regulations. Those regulations come with considerable compliance costs,” said Spencer. “Mexico-domiciled trucking companies do not contend with a similar regime nor must they contend with the corresponding costs.”

Another lie from Spencer. In addition to the cost of compliance with Mexican regulations, Mexican carriers permitted to operate in the US have the additional costs of compliance with US standards.

OOIDA notes that the primary objective of NAFTA is to ensure the North American nations enjoy the prosperity that would result from the free flow of goods across borders. In order to achieve this end, the agreement seeks to ensure that each country affords the others access to economic opportunity. OOIDA contends that under current conditions in Mexico there is little opportunity or willingness on the part of U.S. truckers to compete there.

Strange that US carriers who participated in the cross border pilot program, are still operating south of the border and enjoying a profitable operation. However, CANACAR, the Mexican truckers association has petitioned the SCT to close the border to US trucks until the US  gives it’s members equal access.

“Until the Mexican government is able to significantly diminish the rampant crime and violence within its borders, commits to addressing its deteriorated infrastructure, and promulgates regulations that significantly improve its trucking industry, U.S. truckers will be unable to benefit from the anticipated reciprocity,” said Spencer. “If a new cross-border trucking program were implemented in the near future, U.S. truckers would be forced to forfeit their own economic opportunities while companies and drivers from Mexico, free from equivalent regulatory burdens, take over their traffic lanes.”

The crime in Mexico has had no effect on trucking operations there, but it is a convenient scapegoat for those who oppose this program. The rest is classic Spencer bullshit!