Senators, trucking industry want cross-border issues addressed

March 11, 2010

Members of Congress and the trucking industry are urging the Department of Transportation and U.S. Trade Ambassador Ron Kirk to challenge Mexico's retaliatory trade tariffs -- the result of officials ending a cross-border pilot trucking program last year.

During a March 4 hearing of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) urged Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to move faster on a plan to resume cross-border trucking with Mexico. Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA) last week spearheaded a bipartisan letter signed by 56 members of Congress calling on LaHood and Kirk to eliminate the tariffs, which have compromised local industries, according to a press release from Larsen's office.

Members of the Grain Valley, MO-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, in a Feb. 23 press release, also called on trade and transportation officials to "immediately challenge the legality of the tariffs so that the debate regarding cross-border trucking with Mexico can be shifted from economics to highway safety and security."