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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Mexican trucks will be allowed to apply for U.S. operating authority

    CROSS-BORDER TRUCKING

    FMCSA opens border: Mexican carriers will be allowed to apply for U.S. operating authority

    James Jaillet January 09, 2015



    Mexican motor carriers will soon be able to apply for authority to operate in the U.S. beyond the commercial border zone, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Jan. 9.

    The move brings the U.S. into more complete compliance with the requirements of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Department of Transportation says.


    The agency’s move comes less than three months after the end of a three-year cross-border pilot program with Mexico, which was implemented in 2011 to gather data on operational safety of Mexican carriers participating in the program and to test the feasibility of opening the border to Mexican trucking companies.


    Despite a recent Inspector General report — and the agency’s own admission — noting the low participation of the pilot program made the data invalid, the 15 carriers participating in the program had no higher rate of safety violations than U.S. carriers and drivers. In fact, the numbers were slightly better.


    All Mexican carriers who apply for operating authority with the DOT will be required to pass a Pre-Authorization Safety Audit to ensure they properly manage hours-of-service compliance and adhere to U.S. drug testing laws.


    Drivers will be required to have a U.S. CDL or a Mexican Licencia Federal de Conductor. Drivers must also meet English language proficiency requirements.


    FMCSA says the vehicles of carriers admitted to the program will be required to undergo standard Level 1 inspections every 90 days for at least four years.


    The DOT says the policy will end roughly $2 billion in tariffs imposed on U.S. goods by Mexico as a retaliatory measure for the U.S. not meeting its NAFTA obligations.


    The tariffs have been in place since 2001, when a NAFTA panel determined the U.S. was not complying with cross-border trucking provisions of NAFTA.


    FMCSA also released a report Jan. 9 about its findings from the cross-border pilot program. Check back next week for more on the report.

    http://www.overdriveonline.com/fmcsa...ing-authority/

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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    1/9/2015 5:40:00 PM

    U.S. Opening Border to Mexican Truckers


    Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg News

    The United States border is being opened to Mexican carriers that want to run in the U.S., the Department of Transportation has announced.

    The Jan. 9 announcement said that the DOT will publish a notice in the Federal Register, probably on Jan. 15, saying Mexican carriers are allowed to apply for operating authority here, ending more than 20 years of dispute over the Mexican truck issue.


    “The policy change is expected to result in the permanent termination of more than $2 billion in annual retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods and follows a three-year pilot program that tested and validated the safety of Mexican trucking companies to operate long-haul in the U.S,” the DOT announcement said.


    Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said opening the border to “a safe cross-border trucking system with Mexico is a major step forward in strengthening our relationship with the nation’s third largest trading partner, and in meeting our obligations under [the North American Free Trade Agreement].


    “Data from the three-year pilot program, and additional analysis on almost 1,000 other Mexican long-haul trucking companies that transport goods into the United States, proved that Mexican carriers demonstrate a level of safety at least as high as their American and Canadian counterparts,” Foxx said.

    U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman also welcomed the news, the DOT statement said.


    The successful conclusion of the pilot program provides the basis for the permanent resolution to this dispute,” said Ambassador Froman.


    “We have been, and will continue to work with Mexico to ensure that the threat of retaliatory duties will now be brought to a swift conclusion as well,” Froman said. “Formally concluding this process will help us continue our work to expand trade and investment opportunities between our countries.”


    The pilot program ended in October but a report released by the DOT’s Inspector General last month said that with only 15 carriers in the pilot the IG could not draw conclusions about whether the general population of Mexican trucks would have the same high safety standards as those that participated in the pilot.

    However, the same day the DOT announced the border was being opened to Mexican trucks, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said it sent its own report to Congress.

    The FMCSA report said the pilot results show that Mexican carriers “can and do operate throughout the United States at a safety level equivalent to U.S and Canada domiciled motor carriers and consistent with the high safety standards that FMCSA imposes on all motor carriers authorized to operate in the United States.”


    The conflicting reports are likely to draw the attention of Congress, which before the pilot was launched, had blocked other attempts to let Mexican trucks run long haul beyond designated commercial zones at the border.


    Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), ranking member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he was “deeply disappointed” when the Obama Administration notified him that it had decided to open the border to the Mexican Carriers.


    “They are justifying this decision, using data collected from Mexican trucks that they allowed to operate long haul in the U.S. as enterprise carriers, avoiding the more arduous pilot program,” DeFazio said.

    “These carriers were not subject to the more rigorous safety inspections, electronic monitoring of hours of service compliance, and other measures to which pilot program carriers were subject,” he said. “This Administration appears insistent on creating opportunities for Mexican carriers - which will have major impacts on safety, security, and American jobs.”


    The dispute over the border opening dates to 1994 when NAFTA took effect. The U.S. was to open its borders to more long-haul Mexican trucks but the opening was delayed by questions from the Teamsters and others about safety standards for Mexican trucks.


    The DOT noted that in 2001, a NAFTA dispute settlement panel said the U.S. was not in compliance with the cross-border trucking provisions of the agreement.

    And in 2009 Congress used its appropriations power to halt a demonstration project, at which point Mexico “exercised its option to take retaliatory measures, granted by a NAFTA Arbitration Panel, and impose more than $2 billion in annual tariffs on exports of U.S. agriculture, personal care products and manufacturing goods.”

    Mexico “suspended” the tariffs after the new pilot program began in 2011.


    Mexican carriers seeking long-haul operating authority will be required to pass “a Pre-Authorization Safety Audit to confirm they have adequate safety management programs in place, including systems for monitoring hours-of-service and to conduct drug testing” using labs certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


    “Additionally, all drivers must possess a valid U.S. Commercial Driver’s License or a Mexican Licencia Federal de Conductor, and must meet the agency’s English language proficiency requirements,” DOT said.

    http://www.ttnews.com/articles/baset...xican-Truckers
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Teamsters Denounce DOT Decision To Open Border To Mexican Trucks

    Official Statement of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa



    WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is the official statement of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to the Department of Transportation's announcement that it will open the border to trucks domiciled in Mexico this year.

    "I am outraged that the Department of Transportation has chosen to ignore the findings of the DOT Inspector General and is moving forward with a plan to open the border to Mexican trucks in the coming months.


    "One thing was made clear in the IG's report – the pilot program was a failure. It did not provide enough data for the IG to determine with any confidence that the trucks participating in the program were representative of those that could be permitted in the future. Nor could the IG project the safety performance of Mexico-domiciled carriers based on the data collected from the pilot program.


    "This policy change by the DOT flies in the face of common sense and ignores the statutory and regulatory requirements of a pilot program. Allowing untested, Mexican trucks to travel our highways is a mistake of the highest order and it's the driving public that will be put at risk by the DOT's rash decision."


    Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.


    Contact:
    Galen Munroe (202) 624-6904
    gmunroe@teamster.org

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...300018684.html

    Judy likes this.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Could cross-border expansion bring more loads for U.S. carriers? Also, Congress may act on FMCSA’s border move

    James Jaillet|January 20, 2015

    As of last week, any Mexican carrier domiciled on the other side of the border can apply for authority to operate in the U.S. outside of the commercial border zone — a privilege previously reserved only for Mexican carriers admitted to the DOT’s cross-border trucking pilot program.
    RELATED

    Readers sound off on FMCSA’s border move

    U.S. truck operators see cheaper rates, more crashes and lower driver pay as possible effects of FMCSA's expansion of cross-border trucking with Mexico.

    Overdrive readers noted their concerns last week with the potential effects the border opening could cause — undercut rates, less safe operators and lower driver pay, to name a few.Likewise, labor and small carrier groups — the Teamsters and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, specifically —decried the move and questioned FMCSA’s decision.

    Large carrier groups, like the American Trucking Associations and the Trucking Alliance, however, said they were fine with the expansion of cross-border trucking, so long as Mexican carriers abide by the same rules and regs U.S. carriers follow.


    But will the move affect the way freight moves at the border?

    And could U.S. carriers be the beneficiary of more freight left on the U.S. side of the border by Mexican carriers with newly attained U.S. authority?


    Trade between the U.S. and Mexico has already been on an upswing, improving alongside the expansion of the U.S. economy and the slow but steady recovery following the 2008-2009 recession.


    RELATED

    Opening the border: Data on Mexican carriers ‘robust,’ FMCSA says; trucking groups split on decision

    Readers note their concerns about Mexican carriers undercutting U.S. carriers. Also, FMCSA clarifies the data it used to make its decision.

    And trucking has been the driving force of the growth — In October, truck freight carried to and from Mexico grew by 9.6 percent to $34 billion. October is the most recent month for which the DOT has produced NAFTA trade data.So while concerns about rate undercutting and overall safety of Mexican carriers are appropriate, trucking could be on the receiving end of more, if not more efficient, freight at the U.S.’ southern border.
    **
    Opening the U.S. border for Mexican carriers, however, likely won’t be without challenges. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has already said he intends to use potential upcoming legislation to push FMCSA to address what he calls “ongoing concerns” with the program.

    DeFazio said lawmakers will be taking a look at cross-border trucking with the upcoming renewal of federal highway funding — Congress’ stopgap measure cleared this summer expires in May.


    According to an article from Politico
    , DeFazio said last week he is “waiting to hear about” the concerns he has with “what goes on on the Mexican side of the border.”


    Politico’s article
    says DeFazio referenced a DOT Office of Inspector General report released late last year that concluded the agency did not have enough participants in its three-year pilot program to make proper determinations about safety of Mexican carriers.


    FMCSA, however, says it had plenty of data, as it gathered more on other Mexican carriers not in the program.


    http://www.overdriveonline.com/could...s-border-move/
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  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Photo: Express-News File Photo

    Trucks wait on the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge to enter the United States and for their trucks and loads to be inspected by Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists.

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news...ut-6075294.php
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDoe2 View Post
    Photo: Express-News File Photo

    Trucks wait on the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge to enter the United States and for their trucks and loads to be inspected by Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists.

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news...ut-6075294.php
    That doesn't even look safe. Way too much static weight on the bridge.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDoe2 View Post
    Teamsters Denounce DOT Decision To Open Border To Mexican Trucks

    Official Statement of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa



    WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is the official statement of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to the Department of Transportation's announcement that it will open the border to trucks domiciled in Mexico this year.

    "I am outraged that the Department of Transportation has chosen to ignore the findings of the DOT Inspector General and is moving forward with a plan to open the border to Mexican trucks in the coming months.


    "One thing was made clear in the IG's report – the pilot program was a failure. It did not provide enough data for the IG to determine with any confidence that the trucks participating in the program were representative of those that could be permitted in the future. Nor could the IG project the safety performance of Mexico-domiciled carriers based on the data collected from the pilot program.


    "This policy change by the DOT flies in the face of common sense and ignores the statutory and regulatory requirements of a pilot program. Allowing untested, Mexican trucks to travel our highways is a mistake of the highest order and it's the driving public that will be put at risk by the DOT's rash decision."


    Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.


    Contact:
    Galen Munroe (202) 624-6904
    gmunroe@teamster.org

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...300018684.html

    I totally and 100% support the Teamsters on this issue. They are right, our government is wrong.

    Support the Teamsters, America! Shut down Mexican trucking into the United States. This is as wrong as the H1B program, as wrong as 1.1 million green cards a year, as wrong as Obama Amnesty for illegal aliens. And for the trucking issue, it's about safety, yes, but it's also about American drivers and our American businesses. This creates enormous and outrageous unfair foreign competition in our trucking industry for both drivers and trucking companies, and generates many problems for American businesses who receive the goods. Why should American receivers of these goods have to deal with foreign drivers? These drivers gain access to some of our most secure manufacturing and warehouse facilities and yet we don't really know who they are, where they're from or what they're really up to. It's the perfect scenario for terrorism, theft, espionage, and smuggling of all types.

    WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
    Last edited by Judy; 02-11-2015 at 05:08 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Cross-Border Trucking Program Moving Forward





    photo illustration by: Todd Wiseman

    After two decades of political posturing, a cross-border trucking program will soon be ready to roll, opening up an avenue to expand trade between Texas and Mexico.

    The U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking program allows Mexican trucking companies to apply for permission to travel with their U.S.-bound goods beyond the current 20- to 25-mile limit past the border. Currently, most trucks haul goods to the border, where the products are warehoused and reloaded by American carriers for shipment to their final destinations.


    But trade and union groups in the U.S. say a recent pilot program that tested the policy — a component of the North American Free Trade Agreement — did not compile enough reliable data and that American drivers could be at risk as a result.


    Designed to make international trade more efficient, the program has been in limbo amid several bitter exchanges between U.S. and Mexican officials over the last two decades.

    After a pilot program initiated in 2007 by former President George W. Bush was defunded by the U.S. Congress two years later, the Mexican government retaliated and imposed tariffs on about $2 billion worth of American goods. That applied to nearly $200 million of Texas-produced goods in 2009, according to the office of the state’s former agriculture commissioner, Todd Staples.


    After a second, three-year pilot program was completed in October, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced in January that Mexican carriers are on track to enroll in the program if they meet various safety and training standards.


    The program could add to an already booming trade relationship between Texas and Mexico.


    Mexico is the state’s largest trading partner and the country’s third, behind Canada and China, according to WorldCity, a Florida-based trade-tracking company. The Laredo and El Paso customs districts are the busiest ports on the border, with $269 billion and $86.4 billion in two-way trade, respectively, passing through those ports in 2014.


    “Right now you have the opportunity for these trucks to go across the border faster. You have trade increasing because the economies are growing and energy costs are down,” said Shannon K. O’Neil, a senior fellow for Latin America studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan think tank.

    “So it’s an attractive area” for businesses.


    O’Neil said she didn’t anticipate a majority of Mexican trucking companies applying for the program immediately because they have been using the current system — and its limited U.S. travel — for decades.

    The new program will also only apply to companies that can afford upgrades to their fleet, including electronic tracking devices.

    Carriers will also be subjected to pre-authorization audits, which include drug and alcohol testing, English proficiency and vehicle inspections.


    Union groups, on the other hand, aren’t happy.

    Fred McLuckie, the director of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Department of Federal Legislation and Regulation, said the pilot program left out vital information.

    Specifically, McLuckie said, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report included mainly data from truckers who traveled inside the current limits.


    “I don’t know how you test the safety of long-haul trucking if they’re not going any further than the currently permitted commercial zones,” he said.


    A report on the pilot program by the Congressional Research Service acknowledged that the sample was relatively small.

    Through December 2013, only 14 Mexico-based carriers with operating capabilities were in the pilot program, five of which only had provisional operating authority, according to the report. And trucks from only two Mexican companies were used for the majority of the crossings.

    “The 14 approved carriers have used about 45 trucks to make nearly 10,000 border crossings since October 2011,” the report said. “To put this number in context, on average about 14,000 trucks cross the border from Mexico each day.”


    McLuckie added that the U.S. Department of Transportation's report on the pilot program used supplemental data from other carriers that didn’t participate in the program.


    “The DOT said that they had these other groups of carriers, enterprise carriers and certificate carriers whose data they were using to 'complement the data' that they obtained with the small number of carriers,” he said. “That’s not statutorily permitted under the laws governing a pilot program.”


    McLuckie said that in general, he wasn't opposed to Mexican truckers traveling more in the U.S. But the incomplete data means that American drivers will be on roadways with drivers who do not meet safety standards. That puts the safety of drivers in jeopardy, he said.


    But O'Neil said that the program clearly sets in place requirements that ferret out unreliable carriers.

    “It’s a pretty high bar in terms of standard and safety,” she said.

    https://www.texastribune.org/2015/02...ng-program-se/

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  10. #10
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

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