US & Mexico sign agreement for Safe Secure Cross-Border Trucking Program

Safe Compliant Mexican trucks
Safe, compliant Mexican trucks will soon be allowed access to the US under a Cross Border Trucking proposal signed today in Mexico City
It’s official folks! U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes Dionisio Arturo Pèrez-Jàcome Friscione joined today in Mexico City to sign agreements resolving the dispute over long-haul, cross-border trucking services between the United States and Mexico.

This agreement paves the way for Mexico to begin to lift 50% of the $2.4 billion in retaliatory tariffs that have been in place for more than two years, a result of the Obama Administration caving to pressure from the TEAMSTERS and OOIDA and defunding the previous highly successful Cross Border Demonstration Project.

Pursuant to an agreement signed by the United States Trade Representative and the Secretaría de Economía of the United Mexican States, lifting of the retaliatory tariffs will provide opportunities to increase U.S. exports to Mexico and expand job creation in the U.S.

The agreement provides that Mexico will suspend 50 percent of the retaliatory tariffs within ten days. Mexico will suspend the remainder of the tariffs within five days of the first Mexican trucking company receiving its U.S. operating authority. As a result, Mexican tariffs that now range from five to 25 percent on an array of U.S. agricultural and industrial products such as apples, certain pork products, and personal care products would be immediately cut in half and will disappear entirely within a few months

These perfectly legal tariffs have cost Americans and estimated 25,000 jobs and more than 15% of market share in the agri business community, much of which has gone to Canada.

Secretary LaHood said: “The agreements signed today are a win for roadway safety and they are a win for trade. By opening the door to long-haul trucking between the United States and Mexico, America’s third largest trading partner, we will create jobs and opportunity for our people and support economic development in both nations. I thank President Calderon and Secretary Perez-Jacome for their leadership and for their partnership as we build a safer, more prosperous future for North America and the world.”

As a result of these meetings, and in consultation with Mexico, trucks will be required to comply with all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and must have electronic monitoring systems to track hours-of-service compliance. In addition, the U.S. Department of Transportation will review the complete driving record of each driver and require all drug testing samples to be analyzed in Department of Health and Human Services-certified laboratories located in the U.S. The Department will also require drivers to undergo an assessment of their ability to understand the English language and U.S. traffic signs. The new agreement also ensures that Mexico will provide reciprocal authority for U.S. carriers to engage in cross-border long-haul operations into that country.

The notice in the Federal Register has been published as required by law and can be obtained here

U.S. truckers shocked by agreement with Mexico

Predictably, OOIDA was out of the gate with a purely sophomoric pre-prepared press release.

In it, OOIDA President Jim Johnston declares:

“If the agreement is good for the U.S. why the hell is he (Secretary LaHood) sneaking down there to sign it?” So much for their supposed transparency. Why not let the public see the details before signing the agreement? Seems like the Administration is dead set on caving to Mexico’s shakedown regardless of the costs to the American public and our tax coffers.”

Apparently early senility has set in upon Mr. Johnston since details of the program have been made available to the public for months and a mandatory 30 day comment period was established for interested parties to voice their concerns. We doubt Mr. LaHood “snuck” down to Mexico, rather he simply didn’t call and ask OOIDA’s permission before he went, as if he needed it.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer went on to repeat his totally baseless and debunked claims about Mexico and it’s truckers:

“This program will jeopardize the livelihoods of tens of thousands of U.S.-based small-business truckers and professional truck drivers and undermine the standard of living for the rest of the driver community.”

Yeah? Right Spencer. 100 trucks and drivers are going to jeopardize the livelihoods of tens of thousands of US truckers (OOIDA members) and for the rest of us, undermine our standard of living?

Spencer has also insinuated that OOIDA and their allies have lawsuit waiting to be filed against the cross border program, a lawsuit that basically has no merit. Attempts are also being made to stop this with provisions slipped into the current highways authorization bill currently being debated in committees on capital hill. Fortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much interest by legislators in pursuing that tactic.

HOFFA CONDEMNS MEXICAN TRUCK PILOT PROGRAM

As expected, James P. Hoffa opened his pie hole regurgitating the same lame bullshit that he’s been passing around as “truth” for almost a decade.

Hoffa said the program is probably illegal because it grants permanent operating authority to Mexican trucks after 18 months in the so-called “pilot program” outlined in the proposed rule published in the Federal Register. Congress has not granted DOT the legal authority to do so, Hoffa said. Further, DOT would use money from the Highway Trust Fund to pay for electronic on-board recorders for Mexican trucks. Hoffa questioned whether DOT can do that legally. Hoffa has apparently not read the FMCSA’s Federal Registry Notice that addressed and totally debunked his ludicrous condemnation.

“Opening the border to dangerous trucks at a time of high unemployment and rampant drug violence is a shameful abandonment of the DOT’s duty to protect American citizens from harm and to spend American tax dollars responsibly,” Hoffa said.

“This so-called pilot program is a concession to multinational corporations that send jobs to Mexico. It erodes our national security. It endangers motorists. It ignores the rampant corruption among Mexican law enforcement. It lowers wages and robs jobs from hard-working American truck drivers and warehouse workers.

“It adds insult to injury to force U.S. taxpayers to pay for monitoring equipment on Mexican trucks so Mexican carriers can take away their jobs,” Hoffa said. “The DOT shows more loyalty to the Mexican people than it does to Americans.”

“This pilot program doesn’t even meet NAFTA’s requirement that the Mexican government grant comparable authority to U.S. trucks. No trucking company or driver in their right mind would travel in Mexico under the State Department’s current travel warning,” Hoffa said.

Since 2007, violence has worsened as drug cartels compete for trade routes to the U.S. More than 40,000 people have been killed, and kidnapping and torture are rampant.

Further, a Homeland Security incident report from Oct. 15, 2010 indicates that drug traffickers have hijacked and cloned legitimate trucks to transport illicit cargo across the border. According to the document, criminals hijacked over 10,000 commercial trucks in 2010 in Mexico. No legitimate confirmation of this can be obtained.

Hoffa said DOT cannot guarantee the safety of Mexican trucks.

“Mexican trucks simply don’t meet the same standards as U.S. trucks,” he said. “Medical and physical standards for Mexican trucking firms are lower than for U.S. companies. And how can Mexico enforce highway safety laws when it can’t even control drug cartels?

Again numbnuts, read the register notice!

DeFazio Fights Cross-Border Trucking “Pilot” Program under orders from Hoffa and other “contributors”
Today, corrupt Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, and longtime being in the pockets of special interests such as the TEAMSTERS, wrote Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood challenging the administration’s cross-border trucking “pilot” program that opens the U.S.-Mexico border to the free flow of truck traffic.

He also submitted legislation to limit the administration’s authority to implement the program. This agreement will have a significant impact on the safety of American drivers, security on the border, and American jobs. (Where have we heard those false accusations before?)

“As I have said many times, three issues must be addressed in the cross-border trucking program: safety, security and job loss,” said DeFazio. “I have sent several letters to DOT asking them to address these issues. My calls for caution have gone unanswered. My legislation puts the brakes on a bad deal for American truck drivers and the traveling public.”

DeFazio’s bill will limit the use of scarce Highway Trust Fund dollars to pay for the Electronic On-Board Recorders (EOBR) for Mexican trucks.

“As we debate deep and harsh cuts to programs that help middle class families, it is outrageous that taxpayers are being told to foot the bill for the Mexican trucking industry to comply with American safety standards. My bill would stop the Department of Transportation from raiding the Highway Trust Fund to pay for equipment on Mexican trucks. Let the Mexican government or the Mexican carriers pay for their equipment and let’s use U.S. gas tax revenue for its intended purpose of putting Americans to work rebuilding our roads and bridges,” said DeFazio. (Like Hoffa, DeFazio doesn’t have a clue)

In March, DeFazio sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood requesting additional details regarding the proposed pilot program theU.S.negotiated with Mexican officials.

The pilot allows Mexican trucks to operate on U.S.highways beyond the current border commercial zone and it allows Mexican carriers to obtain permanent operating authority from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) after 18 months in the pilot program. That permanent authority could not be rescinded were Congress or the Administration to terminate the Mexican truck pilot program.

DeFazio continues to questions the legal authority of DOT to implement a permanent program.

DeFazio continues to be an idiot and a pawn of James P. Hoffa and other opponents of this program.

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