September 6, 2011 10:30 AM, EDT

Teamsters Sue to Block Mexican Cross-Border Trucking Plan

Inspector General Report Calls for Several Changes to Program

The Teamsters union and Public Citizen have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Transportation seeking to block the government’s plan to allow Mexican trucks back into the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Meanwhile Tuesday, DOT’s Inspector General released an audit concluding that the pilot program generally complies with an arrary of congressionally mandated program requirements, but said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must take several actions prior to initiation.

Those corrective actions range from issuing specific plans for checking drivers and trucks at the border to establishing an implentation plan for acquiring electronic monitoring devices for use in the pilot program, the audit said.

FMCSA said it will complete the recommended the IG’s suggestions and issue a report to Congress on the agency's actions taken prior to the end of this month.

The Teamsters suit, filed Friday, challenges the U.S.-Mexico trucking deal signed in July by the two countries, in part to end Mexican tariffs on U.S. goods.

The suit was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco by the Teamsters and Public Citizen against the U.S. Department of Transportation and FMCSA, which is part of DOT, the Journal reported.

The complaint alleges that the pilot program sets standards that are not stringent enough for Mexican trucks and drivers, the paper said, citing a plaintiff lawyer who said the program waives a law requiring trucks to display proof of meeting federal safety standards.