Cross-Border Trucking: To Be or Not To Be

September 27, 2011
By Michelle Kelley

In March, we posted about a pending agreement between the Obama administration and the Mexican government to breathe new life into the cross-border trucking program that was cancelled in 2009.

As of July 6, the U.S. and Mexican governments officially signed off on the agreement, establishing a new pilot program for authorized Mexican truckers to gain access to U.S. highways. Once the first trucking companies from Mexico are accepted into the program and allowed to make deliveries, the agreement stipulates that Mexico will begin phasing out the punitive tariffs it established against the U.S. upon cancellation of the first cross border pilot program.

Now in September, as both governments work to implement the pilot program, members of the Teamsters union have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to block the program before it even starts.

Filed on September 2, the Teamster’s lawsuit alleges that the agreement’s pilot program requires subpar safety standards for Mexican trucking companies and drivers. Ironically, less than 10 days later, the U.S. government announced that the first Mexican trucking company had passed the preauthorization audit to operate in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the Teamster’s lawsuit is said to begin with opening arguments in December.

Though the pilot program has yet to officially “take off,” it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not it ever will.

U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking rises from the dead. Again. (March 29, 2011)