Teamsters Sue to Block Cross-Border Mexican Trucks Program
The Teamsters union has filed suit in an attempt to block the Department of Transportation from opening the U.S. border to what it termed “dangerous” Mexican trucks through DOT’s cross-border pilot program.
“Congress has repeatedly and overwhelmingly set tough safety conditions for any cross-border trucking program, and this one clearly doesn’t meet those conditions,” Teamsters General President James Hoffa said in a statement.
Although the program has cleared the first Mexican carrier to come into the United States, Transportes Olympic, some Mexican trucking companies are waiting for more certainty for opportunities under the program, Bloomberg reported earlier this month.
The Teamsters, along with the groups Public Citizen and the Sierra Club, challenged the program in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
It claimed that the pilot program set by DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:
• waives a law that trucks must display certain proof that they meet federal safety standards;
• violates a law requiring the pilot program to achieve an equivalent level of safety because Mexican drivers don’t have to meet the same physical requirements as U.S. drivers.
• breaks the law that Mexico must provide simultaneous and comparable access to U.S. trucks. Mexico cannot do so because of the limited availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in Mexico.
• breaks the law that the pilot program must include enough participants to be statistically valid. FMCSA’s proposal ensures that only the best Mexican trucks participate, which would allow it to justify letting any Mexican truck over the border in the future; and
• does not comply with the environment requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act.