Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mexican Standoff

Teamsters file suit to block cross-border trucks from access to U.S. roads.

The Teamsters are gunning for the Feds over a south-of-the-border trucking agreement. Joined by lobbying group Public Citizen, the traditionally pugnacious union filed a lawsuit to block the U.S. Department of Transportation’s plan to allow Mexican trucks back on this country’s roads, reported Transport Topics.

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 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.

If it stands, the agreement, signed in July by top transportation officials of the United States and Mexico, will allow Mexican trucks to carry freight beyond border commercial trade zones, which will in turn prompt Mexico to remove $2.4 billion in retaliatory tariffs it imposed on U.S. products. The accord would end a dispute dating back to 1994’s NAFTA agreement, and also allow U.S. truckers to travel to Mexico’s interior.

The “on again/off again” agreement, also contested by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association, underscores the potential pitfalls that can be encountered once supply chains cross international borders, whether by land, sea, or air.

Kirk Shearer
800-989-0054 x103

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