Transportation Secretary Reverts to Economic Fear Mongering on Cross-Border Trucking, Says OOIDA

Mar 10, 2008, 01:00 ET from Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

    GRAIN VALLEY, Mo., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Department of
 Transportation Secretary Mary Peters stood alongside business interests and
 attempted to use economic threats to scare lawmakers into supporting a
 pilot program to allow Mexico-based trucking companies and truck drivers to
 operate on highways throughout the United States.
     "It's a sad attempt at economic fear mongering," said OOIDA Executive
 Vice President Todd Spencer. "Despite their lip service, they well know the
 pilot program is outside of the law."
     The association contends the economic interests of a few have been
 placed above the safety and security of many.
     "The Secretary seems to be encouraging Mexico to step in and help the
 Bush Administration force this down the throats of Americans," said
 Spencer. "Where does she get off encouraging Mexico to impose fees and
 tariffs on U.S. goods?"
     Spencer finds humor in the Secretary's contention that the pilot
 program presents U.S.-based truckers with a "promise of prosperity."
     "Safety standards in Mexico simply are not on par with those here, and
 few U.S. trucking companies even appear interested in going south," added
 Spencer. "The program is being spun as a solution to a problem that doesn't
     "The program is supposed to work both ways across the border, and yet
 there are few signing up on either side," said Spencer. "Big businesses
 want the cheap labor, but for a number of reasons trucking companies on
 both sides of the border don't want to get involved."
     "Reality is the program goes against U.S. law and is not required by
 NAFTA," continued Spencer. "The panel required the U.S. to allow Mexican
 trucks into the country under the same rules that apply to their American
 counterparts. The DOT is accepting Mexican licenses, drug testing and
 medical certification laws in place of U.S. laws governing those subjects.
 These exemptions from domestic laws are not required by NAFTA and clearly
 violate U.S. law."
     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 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