The Border is now open to long haul Mexican carriers – And the sky ain’t fallen yet!

FMCSA Inspector and Transportes Olympic
An FMCSA inspector conducts a Level I compliance inspection on a truck belonging to Transportes Olympic in 2007 prior to the initiation of the successful Mexican Pilot Truck Program

With the issuance of provisional operating authority to Transportes Olympics on Friday, October 14, 2011, our southern border is now open to long haul trucks from Mexico who have passed the requirements for participation in the pilot program.

This puts the US into long overdue compliance with our obligations under NAFTA. The remaining 50% of the$2.4 billion in legal retaliatory tariff’s Mexico placed on 99 US manufactured exports, will now be lifted within 5 days.

[pullquote]“Issuance of operating authority to Transportes Olympic is a positive step taken by the United States to come into full compliance with its commitments on long haul cross-border trucking services under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),” said Ricardo Alday of the Mexican Embassy in Washington DC.[/pullquote]

“This is a big win for American farmers and consumers, who will no longer have to struggle with onerous tariffs imposed by Mexico,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Currently Mexico and America benefit from a $400 billion annual trade relationship and 70 percent of this trade is delivered by long-haul trucking companies.

But all is not copacetic, at least with Rep. Peter DeFazio, Congressman from Oregon’s 6th District and long in the pockets of the Teamsters and OOIDA.

DeFazio late Friday continued to spew the vitriol and lies that have long marked his objection to Mexican trucks at the behest of his handlers.

DeFazio referred to the issue as the  “so-called pilot program for cross-border trucking,” saying the program allowed Mexican trucks to operate in the U.S. even though Mexican trucking lacks basic safety standards, even though there is a multitude of evidence suggesting otherwise.

DeFazio went on to rant, ” I will continue to push my legislation that would forbid this kind of expenditure from the Trust Fund.  Until that happens, we will remain hostage to provisions that opened the door for this ill-conceived cross-border trucking program, and expose yet another American industry to lost jobs, and I continue. to question the legal authority of DOT to implement a permanent program.

DeFazio is of course referring to his bill HR-2407 which is stalled in committee which would limit the pilot program to a maximum of 3 years.