Labor union files suit to block Mexican trucking program

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Washington – Citing safety concerns, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters filed suit in early September to stop the Department of Transportation from moving forward with a plan to open the U.S. border to Mexican trucks.

The program, proposed in April, would allow certain Mexican-based carriers to operate in the United States beyond pre-established commercial zones and municipalities for up to three years. U.S. carriers would receive reciprocal rights in Mexico during that time.

The Teamsters’ suit, filed in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, argues that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s pilot program is illegal because it breaks several laws, including requirements that trucks must display proof of meeting federal safety standards and drivers must meet certain physical requirements.

Several motor carrier organizations have criticized the program as well, including the Grain Valley, MO-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, who expressed “shock” when Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood signed the program agreement in July.

Politicians and administration officials have been developing the program since the suspension of a similar pilot program in 2009 resulted in Mexico imposing tariffs on U.S. goods.

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