Unions Transportation Trucking

Cross-border trucking pilot program upheld in court decision

Washington – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on April 19 rejected petitions for review for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s cross-border trucking pilot program.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters had questioned the safety of allowing Mexican trucks – which are not held to the same federal safety and qualification standards as U.S. trucks – on U.S. roadways. Teamsters representatives also questioned whether the program would result in sufficient statistically valid data, citing a Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General interim audit (.pdf file) from August 2012 that found the program was at risk for low participation.

The court rejected the arguments, stating in its responses that cross-border traffic between Mexico and the United States does not match the definition of U.S. interstate commerce and its accompanying regulations.

The pilot program, launched in 2011 to fulfill a requirement in the North American Free Trade Agreement, is designed to help test whether Mexican trucks can operate safety in the United States beyond established border commercial zones.