Senators, trucking industry want cross-border issues addressed

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."

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