US Not Ready for Cross Border Trucking says US Congressman
US Rep. Bob Filner, a Democrat from California, believes the US is not ready for cross border trucking operations with Mexico. He is the first politician to openly come out and say what many in the trucking industry have been thinking for some time. Finer's position contrasts sharply with Texas politicians who appear to be broadly in favor of a deal whereby Mexican carriers, currently restricted to within 25 miles of the major port destinations along the border, will be allowed to haul throughout the US.
Filner has written to the House of Representative's highly influential Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Highways and Transit Subcommittee. In addition, he has also requested that the Committee on Homeland Security convene hearings on the proposed cross-border trucking deal. He has also written to OOIDA with his concerns and you can find the cross border trucking letters by following the link.
Filner's district takes in the entire Southern California border with Mexico, which is also where some of the busiest border crossings are found. His main concerns revolve around road safety, existing American jobs and the development of new ones, as well as the impact upon national security. The latter is particularly poignant, as US truckers are frequently finding they are being advised NOT to enter Mexico due to the turbulence and drug-fueled killings taking place in that country.
Filner has made it clear that he at least, is not convinced Mexican trucking safety standards are adequate. He notes US trucks spend more time "out of service" than other haulers in the NAFTA trade zone, and points to an excellent trucking safety record here in the US compared to that found in Mexico. the average age of equipment on US roads is also much younger than those operated on Mexican roads. Stricter safety standards and different useful economic life expectancies of equipment , mean that very different standards apply between US and Mexican operators (just take a look a this selection of trucks for sale and you will see the average age of equipment is relatively young)
Filner is also concerned about the lack of border personnel manning the inspection points. In addition, it is relatively cheap and easy to forge logbooks and certificates, and that without proper control the US highways will become a more dangerous place with Mexican truckers on them.
Filner's position contrasts sharply with neighboring Texas. That state appears to wholeheartedly support the opening of the border to Mexican truckers, primarily because Texan agriculture and business has been so very badly hit by the Mexican tariffs. After the original cross-border deal was nixed, Mexico declared the US in violation of the NAFTA agreement and implemented a series of rolling tariffs, costing US growers and manufacturers billions of dollars and loss of market share in Mexico. For Texas at least, removing the barrier to Mexican trucking companies operating in the US is seen as a tremendous opportunity to sell more goods into Mexico and generate economic and job activity within Texas itself.