Overdrive Staff | March 01, 2011

Small business owners testified on the toll it would take for them in money and time. Rep. Daniel Lungren (R-Calif.), who is sponsoring one of the legislative efforts to repeal it, also testified. His bill, the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act or H.R.4, was referred to committee Jan. 12 and has 270 sponsors.

Testimony submitted by Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice president, says a one-truck owner-operator will make at least 100 fuel purchases for $600 from 50 or more fuel vendors in a year. Owner-operators also deal with many businesses for equipment maintenance, with each purchase usually exceeding $600.

Some bills with the goal of eliminating the new rule have been introduced.

— Staff reports

Highway Hero finalists named

Four finalists have been named for the 28th annual Goodyear North America Highway Hero Award.

Truckers Jaime Avitia, of El Paso, Texas; Tilden Curl, of Olympia, Wash.; Bill Howard, of Litchfield, Neb.; and David Nelson, of Orlando, Fla., were selected for the heroism award.

“This program offers an opportunity for recognition of those who put their lives on the line to help others,” said Joseph Copeland, vice president for commercial tire systems for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

The winner will be announced March 31 in Louisville, Ky., and will receive a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond, a plaque and a specially designed ring. The other finalists will receive a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond and plaque.

— Staff reports

Cross-border talks progress

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with her Mexican counterparts in Mexico in January to discuss implementing a cross-border trucking program.

Government officials and business executives have held talks to revive a cross-border trucking program with Mexico.

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,” 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 comprises 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.

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