Has CSA hit you? And: DeFazio’s cross-border backlash
To date, FMSCA has not sent a report to Congress or otherwise communicated plans to address the issues identified by the IG. Yet the agency is moving full speed ahead. On the same day the audit was made public, FMCSA published in the FMCSA Register the application of the first Mexican carrier to successfully complete a pre-authorization safety audit. This week, FMCSA published the name of another carrier. According to FMCSA’s regulations, listing a carrier in the FMCSA register is a “preliminary grant of operating authority” (49 CFR 365.507). I fail to see how the agency is authorized to grant authority prior to meeting all statutory requirements.
This further reinforces my longstanding concern that the Administration is not launching a pilot program, but rather starting the full liberalization of cross-border trucking that will have significant impacts on safety, security, and American jobs. Proceeding with the processing of Mexican carriers’ applications on a separate track from meeting any requirements the agency believes apply to the pilot program confirms that FMCSA intends for this pilot program to casually terminate and morph into an open border. This flies in the face of the limitation enacted by Congress.
I know you hold FMCSA’s mission to protect the safety of the traveling public in the highest regard. I hope you will agree that addressing the deficiencies identified by the Inspector General in a meaningful way is the only prudent course before Mexican trucks can be permitted to operate long-haul in the U.S.
Peter A. DeFazio