Rep. Peter DeFazio follows OOIDA’s lead with letter “DEMANDING” answers

Rep. Peter DeFazio - Such a corrupt vile little man
Rep Peter DeFazio, responding to orders from his union handlers, recently sent a letter to FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro "DEMANDING" and explanation why FMCSA was proceeding with the Cross Border Program with Mexico without his permission. Such a vile, corrupt little man!

Rep. Peter DeFazio, following OOIDA President Jim Johnston’s example sent a letter to FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro demanding she address his bogus concerns about the safety of Mexican trucks on U.S. roads.

But this isn’t about this vile little man’s irrelevant letter to Ms Ferro. It’s to be expected. Despite the fact DeFazio was elected to represent the people of the 4th Congressional District in Oregon, he continues to be in the pocket of the unions, specifically representing the whims and demands of embattled Teamsters President James P. Hoffa.

DeFazio’s claims of being concerned about the “safety, security and jobs loss” surrounding the upcoming Cross Border Pilot Program with Mexico, is as bogus and disingenuous as he is.

The “safety” of Mexican trucks has been well established through historical statistics archived by the FMCSA that covers commercial zone carriers, those Mexican carriers with special operating authority in the US and those carriers who participated in the previous cross border program.

His concerns about security is a smoke screen thrown up by the opposition to further delay implementation of the program. The participants, closely monitored and inspected do not present any security risks to this country nor this industry.

And the arguments about “job losses” is totally bogus and defies logic. Are we to believe a handful of companies from Mexico, presenting maybe 50 trucks for participation in this program, is going to “totally destroy” our industry as Mark Reddig of OOIDA is so fond of saying, or that they are going to cause the loss of thousands of union trucking and warehouse jobs as Teamsters President Hoffa claims? Totally ludicrous.

Reading DeFazio’s sophomoric little missive, it is glaringly obvious that this ignorant little man hasn’t a clue to what’s going on.

He lists these examples as areas of his concern.

  •  FMCSA does not yet have plans in place to: conduct on-site safety reviews in Mexico for at least half of participating carriers, as required by law.
  • FMCSA cannot ensure that pilot program drivers and trucks are identified and inspected at each unique border crossing.
  • FMCSA cannot  verify driver and truck eligibility for the pilot program; acquire electronic monitoring devices for use in the pilot program
  • FMCSA has not  trained inspection and enforcement personnel at the border and within the United States.
  • FMCSA has not acquired electronic monitoring devices for use in the pilot program
Obviously, DeFazio has ignored the response FMCSA made to the USDOT/OIG audit report where they listed how they have complied or are in the process of complying.
FMCSA reported last week that it had signed a contract with TELETRAC for the manufacturing, installation and monitoring services  of the Electronic On-Board Recorders that DeFazio and his handlers have previously demanded be installed on Mexican trucks participating in the cross border program.
The contract with TELETRAC is for 3 years, at a cost of $1.3 million dollars, $1.9 million dollars below the originally projected cost of  $3.2 million.
One of the intriguing paragraphs in DeFazio’s letter was this one:

This further reinforces my longstanding concern that the Administration is not launching a pilot program, but rather starting the full liberalization of cross-border trucking that will have significant impacts on safety, security, and American jobs.

Proceeding with the processing of Mexican carriers’ applications on a separate track from meeting any requirements the agency believes apply to the pilot program confirms that FMCSA intends for this pilot program to casually terminate and morph into an open border.  This flies in the face of the limitation enacted by Congress.

As I said; What was your first clue Pedro?

Nothing in the trucking provisions calls for a “pilot program”, a “demonstration program” nor any other type of “program” with Mexico before their trucks are allowed access into this country. The requirements for access were the same as for Canadian trucks.

And in the beginning, when Reagan signed into law, the 1982 Foreign Carrier Exclusion Act, it had absolutely nothing to do with safety, with Canada nor with Mexico. It was all about “access”. The US and Canada very quickly resolved the “access dispute” and Reagan exempted the Canadians. Mexico however, didn’t want to allow our trucks in their country, so the ban stood. Again, safety had nothing to do with it. And case in point is Reagan exempting and grandfathering in the estimated 1,065 Mexican carriers who had operating authority prior to his 1982 order. Some of those still operate freely in the United States today.

We are required, under NAFTA, to allow Mexican trucks unlimited access to this country, as we do the Canadians. The only requirements are that they are able to fully comply with OUR standards, laws, rules and regulations when operating in this country. Nothing more, nothing less. The same as we require of the Canadians. They are NOT required to mirror our standards in their own country, nor or the Canadians. That is a bogus rumor started by Todd Spencer of OOIDA and others when they are digging around for excuses not to allow the Mexicans in.

And over the years and in the years since the beginning of the previous program, Mexican trucks at all levels of US operating authority have shown themselves to be quite capable of meeting our standards. Statistics show that these guys have equal and in many cases superior safety numbers to ours.

DeFazio pretty much stands alone now in his opposition to Mexican trucks. His bill to further restrict access to the Mexicans to a pilot program, HB-2407 is pretty much going nowhere. He does not have the support of his fellow Congressmen in the House nor in the Senate. And he continues to ignore the needs of his district and the desires of his constituents who are not concerned, according to newspaper and media editorials, about a few Mexican trucks that probably will never travel the highways in Oregon. They are concerned about the legal tariffs that Mexico put on 99 US goods, including Christmas trees from DeFazio’s district which have cost more than 25,000 US jobs.

Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) said in an interview in his office in Little Rock during the August recess that the Mexican truck program will happen, it has to happen, because we gave our word on it when we signed the NAFTA accords. Pryor, who is no friend to the American trucker, is absolutely correct.

As for  Peter DeFazio, all he seems to care about is shucking and jiving each time James Hoffa or Todd Spencer gives the word.

In the regards to the pilot program morphing into an “open border”, DeFazio gets it there. It’s our obligation, our response to a promise we made years ago that has been delayed by the meddling of a few. Their day has come and gone and as  Carlos Sesma, an attorney representing Mexican trucking interests in Washington recently stated; “It’s going to happen – There’s no way to stop it!”


Sesma is correct!