Truckers: Opening Border To Mexico Is Irresponsible
Specifics posted on program giving Mexican trucks access to all U.S. highways
GRAIN VALLEY, Mo., April 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is infuriated on behalf of small-business truckers and professional truck drivers at today's announcement by the White House to open up U.S. highways to Mexican trucks.
"This is the wrong plan at the wrong time for numerous reasons," said Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of OOIDA. "It's irresponsible and reckless. The Administration must reconsider or Congress must step in again to force them to do the right thing."
The majority of trucking companies based in the U.S. are small businesses. As many as 93% of all motor carriers have fewer than 20 trucks in their fleets and 78% of motor carriers have fleets of six or fewer trucks. Owner-operator fleets averaging slightly more than one truck represent nearly half the total number of heavy-duty commercial trucks operated in the U.S. Those trucking companies and truck drivers must contend with ever-increasing safety, homeland security and environmental regulations that dramatically affect their costs of operation as well as their ability to make a living at their chosen profession.
Mexico does not have an even remotely equivalent regulatory regime for its trucking industry and drivers.
"The onus is on Mexico to raise the safety, security and environmental standards for their trucking industry," added Spencer. "We should not allow ourselves to be harassed or blackmailed into lowering ours."
Mexico first imposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports close to two years ago. OOIDA contends the legality of the original tariffs should have been challenged.
Spencer noted, "Succumbing to Mexico's bullying provides a handy attack plan for them and other governments in future trade disputes."
Despite the tariffs, based on numbers released by the U.S. Department of Transportation in March 2011, truck-based trade with Mexico surged by 27.6 percent last year to a total of $320.3 billion, and the bulk of this increase was from U.S. goods going to Mexico.
"They need to stop placating Mexico's government and start fighting for the Americans they are supposed to represent," said Spencer. "If they follow through with this, the Administration will be jeopardizing the livelihoods of millions of Americans."
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 151,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area.
Web site: www.ooida.com
SOURCE Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association