GRAIN VALLEY, Mo., Jan. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The largest trade association representing truckers reacted to the U.S. Department of Transportation's announced intention to lay the groundwork for a program to open American roads to trucking companies from Mexico.
"With so much focus in Washington on creating jobs, it's a bit shocking that the administration would pursue a program that can only rob U.S. drivers of their jobs," said Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
"While we appreciate that the administration is proposing to allow Congress and the public to weigh in on a future trucking program with Mexico, they seem to be missing the main issue at hand," continued Spencer. "The onus is upon Mexico to raise their regulatory standards, not on the U.S. to lower ours to accommodate their trucking industry."
OOIDA contends that to ensure the safety and security of U.S. citizens, Mexico-domiciled trucking companies and truck drivers must be required to comply with the same level of safety, security and environmental standards that apply to their U.S.-based counterparts, not only while they are operating in the U.S., but also in their home country. To date, Mexico has failed to institute regulations and enforcement programs that are even slightly similar to those in the United States.
"Mexico has been bullying our government into allowing their trucking companies to have full access to highways across the U.S. while refusing to raise regulatory standards in its own trucking industry," Spencer continued. "Mexico's regulatory standards aren't even remotely equivalent to what we have in the U.S."
"Every year, U.S. truckers are burdened with new safety, security and environmental regulations. Those regulations come with considerable compliance costs," said Spencer. "Mexico-domiciled trucking companies do not contend with a similar regime nor must they contend with the corresponding costs."
OOIDA notes that the primary objective of NAFTA is to ensure the North American nations enjoy the prosperity that would result from the free flow of goods across borders. In order to achieve this end, the agreement seeks to ensure that each country affords the others access to economic opportunity. OOIDA contends that under current conditions in Mexico there is little opportunity or willingness on the part of U.S. truckers to compete there.
"Until the Mexican government is able to significantly diminish the rampant crime and violence within its borders, commits to addressing its deteriorated infrastructure, and promulgates regulations that significantly improve its trucking industry, U.S. truckers will be unable to benefit from the anticipated reciprocity," said Spencer. "If a new cross-border trucking program were implemented in the near future, U.S. truckers would be forced to forfeit their own economic opportunities while companies and drivers from Mexico, free from equivalent regulatory burdens, take over their traffic lanes."
SOURCE Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association