First Mexican truck crosses border
Mexican and U.S. officials gathered at the World Trade Bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, for the event. Transportes Olympic hauled a drilling tower nearly 10 feet high destined for Garland, Texas, according to Mexico’s Secretary of Communication and Transportation. Monterrey-based Transportes Olympic has been approved for two trucks and two drivers.
The Oct. 21 delivery beyond the commercial border zone highlighted the end of more than two years of tariffs of 5 to 25 percent on 99 U.S. goods. On July 8 Mexico dropped 50 percent of tariffs and promised to end the remaining tariffs five days after the first Mexican carrier received operating authority.
On Oct. 20, the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General announced it was beginning its interim report to Congress on the pilot program, in accordance with 2007 law.
Its audit objectives will be to decide if it will have sufficient data to determine if the program reduces trucking safety and if monitoring and enforcement activities can ensure program compliance. The OIG will also measure if program participants are a representative and adequate sample of Mexican carriers that would seek cross-border operations.
All trucks that participate in the program will carry GPS-capable electronic onboard recorders to ensure hours-of-service compliance and to monitor trucks to and from assigned U.S. destinations.
Also, FMCSA will review the driving records of each driver and require U.S. labs to analyze all drug testing samples before that driver receives approval.
OOIDA has filed to stop the program in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The court rejected its request for an emergency stay of the program, but will schedule oral arguments following the completion of brief filings, with the last brief due by Dec. 5.
The Teamsters union and Public Citizen also have petitioned a federal appeals
court to review the agency¹s plans to proceed with the program.