For the Record
In a Jan. 24 press conference, Clinton said she and Patricia Espinosa, Mexico’s foreign secretary, have reviewed methods of inspecting and clearing legitimate goods away from border stations.
“We are working with our counterparts in each of our governments to create trucking policies that reduce transit costs and enhance safety on our roads,” she said.
On Jan. 12, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined Trade Representative Ron Kirk for cross-border trucking discussions at the third annual Labor Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and Trade Policy. The trade representative and the labor department lead the LAC, which is comprised of 30 U.S. union representatives.
The day before, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray called Mexico’s plans to continue the 99 tariffs on U.S. goods “deeply unfair.” It imposed the measure when Congress voted to end its cross-border trucking program with the nation nearly two years ago.
“The United States put a proposal on the table, and Mexico should have responded by ending all punitive tariffs immediately,” the Washington Democrat said.
Mexico has said it will not add additional retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, Murray added.
Also in January, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce led a two-day trade delegation to Mexico City. It said it would press for a “mutually agreeable solution” in the debate over cross-border trucking with Mexico.
Inspectors Increase UCR Enforcement
Roadside enforcement officers began Feb. 1 verifying if interstate truck operators have 2011 registration with the Unified Carrier Registration.
Individuals and companies operating commercial motor vehicles in interstate or international commerce must register and pay a fee annually. The revenues generated are used for commercial vehicle safety programs.
States have been advised to enforce fee payment only after an officer has verified online or by phone failure to register for 2011, according to the Oregon transportation department. The enforcement action should only apply to payment for 2011, unless the officer gets proof the trucker or company operated in a previous year but did not pay fees for that year.
Fees are $76 for the smallest interstate operator to $73,346 for operators of 1,001 or more power units. Trailers are excluded from registration, but the UCR board raised truck fees to make up for the loss in revenue.
Truckers are not required to carry proof of registration, but may want to, according to information from the National Conference of State Transportation Specialists, a membership of state agencies and partners involved in transportation safety, insurance and consumer protection.