GRAIN VALLEY, Mo., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- At a Senate hearing on
Tuesday, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) was
represented by legal counsel Paul Cullen Sr. who gave testimony showing the
cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico is not consistent with U.S.
safety standards and not required by the North American Free Trade
"The U.S. DOT's pilot program is neither authorized nor required by any
obligation of the United States under NAFTA," Cullen testified. "The
Department has no right to issue operating authority to trucking companies
unless they are 'willing and able' to obey all applicable U.S. laws and
He went on to explain that by accepting compliance with Mexican laws
and regulations covering commercial drivers licenses, drug testing and
standards of medical qualifications in lieu of compliance with its own
regulations, DOT has completely rewritten the conditions for entry into the
U.S. market for trucking services.
Cullen also applauded the move by Congress to defund the pilot program
while admonishing DOT for ignoring the Congressional directive. "The
efforts of the Bush Administration to thwart the clear intent of Congress
by continuing the program is both shocking and lamentable."
Cullen also commented on the secretary of transportation's threat that
Mexico will retaliate if the U.S. withdraws from the pilot program. Cullen
stated, "If DOT follows their legal responsibilities, there will be no
basis for retaliation against U.S. imports by Mexico."
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the national
trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking
professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has
more than 161,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is
headquartered in the greater Kansas City, MO, area.
SOURCE Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association