Cross-border program with Mexico prevails in court

| April 22, 2013

mexicoUntitled-1-300x172A U.S. appeals court has rejected arguments against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico, saying none of the arguments brought by the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association were persuasive enough show that the program violates any statutes or regulations.

The same court, however, will hear a separate challenge to the federal program May 6.

Duane DeBruyne, a spokesman for the FMCSA, responded to the April 19 ruling against the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and International Brotherhood of Teamsters:

“The District of Columbia Circuit Court’s decision upholds the FMCSA’s cross-border pilot program, finding that we apply the same rigorous safety standards under the program that we require of all U.S. carriers,” DeBruyne said. “We remain committed to the success of the pilot program and will continue to work with everyone involved to ensure it is carried out safely.”

U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh issued the opinion behalf of the three-judge panel who heard the case Dec. 6. “The drivers association advances seven distinct arguments that the pilot program violates various statutes and regulations,” Kavanaugh wrote. “We find none to be persuasive.”

OOIDA’s assertions included that the program violates federal pilot program rules because it argued that it does not require safety standards equal to the United States.

“Federal statutes, not the pilot program, enable Mexico-domiciled truckers to use their commercial drivers’ licenses, and the pilot program complies with applicable U.S. drug testing regulations,” Kavanaugh wrote.” And the agency reasonably concluded that those requirements are designed to achieve an equivalent level of safety.”

The Teamsters’ case included that program lacks sufficient participation to yield statistically valid findings regarding safety. As of last week, the program’s had 22 drivers from ten participating Mexican carriers.

The court stated the FMCSA does not limit participation nor can it control how many applications it receives. “The agency has therefore met its obligation to include a sufficient number of participants so as to yield valid results,” Kavanaugh stated.

The Teamsters stated it is reviewing options with its attorneys regarding the ruling.

The union also noted the Department of Transportation Inspector General’s August report stated that he program risked its goal of “providing an adequate and representative sample of Mexico-domiciled carriers and inspections necessary to assess the impact on motor carrier safety.”

Next month, OOIDA will argue a related case in this court, but before a different panel of judges. A year ago, the FMCSA established the National Registry of Medical Examiners, which requires CDL holders have a current medical certificate issued by a registry examiner.

The association believes the agency has erred by allowing program participants to operate in the United States without a current medical certificate issued by a registry examiner.

In March 2009, Congress terminated funding for an earlier cross-border trucking program.

The following month, a federal appeals court dismissed litigation against the program from OOIDA, Teamsters, Sierra Club, Public Citizen, Environmental Law and Auto Truck Drivers Local No. 70. Congress’ termination of the program made it impossible for judges to rule on the program nor could they evaluate future program that did not yet exist, the court stated.

  • Pingback: FMCSA, cross-border trucking win court case against OOIDA | Commercial Carrier Journal

  • Porter M. Corn

    Actually this has nothing to do with any of what you assume.

    The rates are being kept down by the bottom feeding brokers who pass the freight around their network, each broker taking a fee, until some US trucker takes it for next to nothing. The Mexicans, most who back haul their own freight under contract with their customers and clients in Mexico, turn their nose up at our rates.

    Anybody who thinks that just because a truck is based out of Mexico and participating in this program has a cost of operation cheaper than ours is dreaming.

  • martymarsh

    I would agree with you about the brokers 100%, but after that you are using smoke and mirrors. They back haul their own freight? Which use to be who’s freight? If you don’t think they can do anything cheaper than us, then one would have to wonder why companies have relocated there.

  • Mike Smith

    The FMCSA is lying. I see & hear Mexicans truck drivers all the time at truck stops & shops all over the So. West who can’t hardly communicate in English, & in the L.A./Inland Empire area are a real problem. The Police Authorities do allow these Mexicans to drive in our country. The rule is that you have to speak & write understanable English to be a CDL driver. There are governments that let Mexicans go on issues that Whites will be cited, and or arrested for. LA will not confiscate the car of a Mexican if the citation requires it.

    What we are experiencing is a government that is making rules to provide cheaper 3rd world people to flood into our country.

    Take note. Last week, on CNBC Asia business news, an analylist clearly stated, that the US Gov is allowing illegal & legal aliens into our country in order to MAKE America competitive with Developing Countries. In other words our government is intentionally working to make our wages low, so as to make our countrymen more equal to the wages of 3rd world savages. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE.

  • Mike Smith

    Cost of operation. Fuel is a major cost. How much do you think Mexican diesel is????

  • Mike Smith

    I call the relocation, NOT relocation, BUT treason, which it is and must not be sugar coated by allowing it to be called relocation. These corporations where born, raised & protected in our country by our citizens. They are TRAITORS. This is a serious issue, and it must be dealt with in a serious, and angry fashion. The kiss @$$ talk has to stop. When are CITIZENS are losing so much, as we are, this is an act of war on us!

  • USMC 69-75

    You need to take it one step further…..the bottom feeding truckers who take these brokers cheap freight! “Don’t haul cheap freight”

  • Porter M. Corn

    I don’t think, I know Mike. Diesel at the moment in Mexico, average price is $11.61mxn per liter which comes out to around $4.13 a gallon. And if the government subsidy which I believe has been around 5% is still in place, you’re looking at $3,97 a gallon more or less.

  • Porter M. Corn

    No Mike, it’s not treason, it’s business. Pure and simple. Over regulation of business caused businesses to look elsewhere. Unions making unreasonable and outrageous demands contributed to the move to the souther states and south of the border.

    Ever wonder why all the major Japonese and Korean manufacturers set up shop in the southern states instead of in the northern rust belt? Think about it.

  • Porter M. Corn

    i agree wholeheartedly with you USMC… But it ain’t gonna happen. O/O’s certainly can make that decision but these big mega companies and others will take the freight without a second thought. People bitch about the new broker bond proposal which might help, but it needs to go a step further and set some rules. For instance, mandate a solid percentage a broker can take for his services. Perhaps a maximum of 15% and prohibit moving the load amongst their buddies so each can take some of the juice leaving crap for the trucker.

  • Porter M. Corn

    Martymarsh….. Let’s look at one of the participants in the program, Transportes Olympic. Their main customer in Monterrey is a large steel plant. They haul prefab steel from that to customers in the US. They reload with either coils of steel going right back to the plant in Apodaca NL or with junk cars going to the same place to be melted and recycled.

    Whose freight is that? It belongs to the manufacturer in Mexico who is at liberty to give it to whomever it chooses.

    BTW, Melton Truck Lines hauls for the same customer in Mexico and it’s not uncommon to see a half dozen loads of this product on their yard in Laredo.

    That’s the simple answer to a complex questions. But considering more than 5 million loads cross the southern border annually and that figure grows exponentially annually, the Mexicans are absolutely no threat to us. No more so than the Canadians and we hear no one bitching about them.

  • Porter M. Corn

    The FMCSA is lying Mike? Within that line of thinking then, the DC Court of Appeals is perpetrating that lie, would that be your assumption?

    What you allegedly see and hear all over the LA basin is Mexican American driver talking Spanish amongst themselves as they have a right to do.

    391.11(b)(2) states:
    Can read and speak the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records;

    The key word there is “Sufficiently” and there is the problem.

    Who determines what is sufficient? The only guidelines offered by CVSA to Law Enforcement says that if a subject makes a “good faith effort” to respond in English, then there is no violation.

    I realize some of you expect everyone in this country to speak the language to perfection with no hint of an accent, but that ain’t the way it works.

    Interesting to note also that Mexicans from south of the border who are allowed to operate in this country must have an International Endorsement on their LCF which is obtained by taking a English Proficiency test at the time the endorsement is placed on their license by the SCT…..

    And English is manadatory in the Mexican education curriculum from grade 6 on in Mexico….

  • kiko kika

    its easy for the big company to hire mexican that don’t know a american way of leaving like american know how we suppose to get our share but the mexican they don’t care because they leave down there with know rights to say or ask for there fare share… i work for MVT in el paso texas there are mexican management never get me A rights to speak they just judge you the way they want.. the picture is if they said so thats it ,,,you dont have the right to say or question about it and it happen to me

  • Porter M. Corn

    Hey Kiko……… Got a very good friend that works for MVT. Perhaps you know him. Short guero with long blonde hair drives a drop top Trans-Am?

    You’re correct about MVT. Lot of prima donnas there that have to get home every weekend so they can “stroke” their dispatchers. I understand Royal Jones is about to put an end to all that though. Hope it gets better for you.

    My friend has his truck paid off in September and he’s thinking of jumping ship shortly thereafter. He’s got 8 years in with the company.

  • David S. McQueen

    The FMCSA’s own stats indicate that one of the top 5 violations annually is “non-English speaking drivers”. Section 391, FMCSR, requires drivers to be able to “read and speak the English language”. Obviously, if a driver can’t read English, how can he comply with the other requirements of 391? It’s political decisions by the courts that destroy the public’s perception of judicial legitimacy in the USA.

  • martymarsh

    Believe I know what you are saying, but you can’t deny it is that simple. Before we started with cross the border, how did they get it to their customer in the US, and then return the coils? I don’t know the answer to that, but I would have to assume a swap at the border. They may not be a threat to us now, just give it some time.
    I’ve been doing this for 39 years, and EVERYONE still wants that freight hauled for nothing. With all the new laws and bull, this is just another straw helping to break the camels back.

  • martymarsh

    I disagree with the new bond, just because it will force a lot of little guys out and then we are stuck with nothing but the big brokers and that is where all the problems lie. Also why would you want to give 15% to someone just for receiving a phone call and then making a phone call. On a 1000 bucks that is 150 bucks for talking on the phone, that is a joke. 5% would make more sense. To many hands in the pot, and we haven’t even hit on the government yet.

  • Porter M. Corn

    I agree with you David in theory….. But what you are seeing is enforcement officials abusing the reg contained in 391.11.(b)(2), most likely to run up the numbers to justify asking for more Federal funds for enforcement.

    391.11.(b)(2) is an Out of Service offense. But you rarely see them being put OOS. Why? Because in my opinion, the officer probably could not make a case against the driver. My perception, your perception and the officers perception of what is “sufficient” could be miles apart.

    I’ve lived and traveled in Mexico for almost 20 years and my Spanish is probably at the 2nd grade level as far as speaking it. However, I can read and comprehend the words and their meanings. Traffic control devices are universal, I’ve also traveled in the Canadian province of Quebec where the majority of road signs etc are in French and I’ve never had a problem. A little common sense is all it takes.

    And thank God though for the picture menus in the truck stop restaurants though in Quebec, otherwise I’d have no idea what I was ordering.

    Hell, I imagine you are anyone else that came down here south of the border would have no problem traveling and moving around if you desired to. It’s really a non-issue.

  • Danny Murdock

    I heard the brokers around L.A. cruise the Ontario T/A’s every morning to see what type the majority of trucks sitting there are.Then they lower the rate for those type of loads.Lots of flatbeds = low rates for flatbed loads,take it or sit there.

  • Danette Norrell Adamson

    This is bullshit ..dam when r we goin to take our country back ?? We fought mexico for Texas more they r jyst givin it back to them

  • Porter M. Corn

    Take the country back from who? The Tea Baggers? I wasn’t aware that anyone had taken our country…..

  • Dave

    Okay, drivers. I was a owner-operator for 25yrs. I owned 5 trucks at one point and time. Now, i’m a broker. I’m not saying theres not brokers trying to screw people. But, 95% of my calls come from carriers. Brokers/agents don’t make as much as you thank they do. I supported my trucks for years. Working with brokers. The carriers want paid good,then pay the owner-operator leased to them less as possible. I’ve been that owner-operator. I’d never try to screw over someone thats in the position. I’ve been. The foreign drivers can haul cheaper. Because its cheaper for them to live. And when they are paid the American dollar. It goes further. For now! If your a Mexico trucking company. Getting paid with American currency. Your in there. Hell yes they can haul it cheap. And totally different subject. If your sending ATA money. You may want to research Bill Graves the CEO. Pushed for electronic logs, pushing to raise fuel taxes for the so-called infrastructures, pushing for truck manufacturers to only make the trucks go 65. He only supports what he likes.

  • Porter M. Corn

    Good comment Dave and I hope you didn’t think I was lumping all brokers together, There is the good and then the not so good.

    Don’t believe it’s cheaper to live down here in Mexico. In the end, it all averages out. I know, I live here in Monterrey…

    If the Mexicans are getting paid by those they contract to in Mexico, they’re getting paid in Mexican pesos. If they get paid in US currency, they’re at the mercy of the constantly changing exchange rate which ranges between $11.50 – $12.80 to the dollar.

    What people don’t realize about these Mexican carriers, especially the ones in the pilot program, in addition to having to pay their regulatory and licensing fees, insurance, and mandated benefits to their employees, they also have to obtain US issued insurance and you can be damned sure the US insurers are raping their asses. Then they have the IFTA fees, and what’s the new one went into effect a year or two ago?

    All in all, it averages out.

  • Mike Smith

    I guess I wasn’t clear. I HEAR foreigners & Mexicans trying to speak to cashiers at truck stops AND repair shops. Let me make this clear, they are barely understandable. Are you from Fontana, CA area, or the So. West? I AM! I have watched what has happen to So. Cal for the last 40 years. As for your Mexican friends trucking across OUR border, maybe they can speak English to suit the Authorities, but the Authorities now allow a lot of unacceptable things to happen in favor of minorities. I did give one quicky example.

  • Porter M. Corn

    If they’re not talking to you, then what do you care. If the authorities decide they are in compliance, that’s all that matters.


    We know for a fact that there is a difference……..My husband was pulled over along with 2 other trucks and the first truck took the officer about 45 minutes to deal with, the second truck took about 10minutes to deal with and my husband the third truck to about 45 minutes to deal with. Out of curiosity, my husband questioned the officer why it took so long for the first truck but not the second truck. The officers response was ” He is an illegal and its to much paperwork to deal with him, so I let him go.” So it meant that the first truck received a ticket and my husband received a ticket as well. So you tell me what the heck that its not affecting us. WHATEVER!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Porter M. Corn

    I would call the assertion that the other driver was an “illegal” as so much bullshit!

    If they’re Mexican, they’re not getting across that border with their trucks unless they have a Mexican Passport, a US Visa and an I-94 Entry/Exit card, plus of course their LFC (Mexican CDL)……

    But hey! It’s your story and I’m sure you’re sticking to it. Makes good conversation when you’re sitting in the truck stop bashing Mexicans, and others you feel are inferior to yourself.

    Bottom line here is, the Mexicans have been operating in this country safely for more than 60 years. There are Mexican carriers who’ve had full authority for decades and who were grandfathered in by Ronald Reagan when he signed the omnibus bill that included ALL foriegn carriers from operating in the US. And that had nothing to do with safety. It had everything to do with EQUAL ACCESS….

    The Mexicans are here to stay. Get over it! It is our legal obligation to allow, again, EQUAL ACCESS to them the same as we do the Canadians.

    They don’t effect my life, yours, nor anyone else’s.

    Sorry about your husband getting a citation, but in my 38 years out here on the road, I’ve found that most citations are issued for cause.

  • Mike Smith

    Are you a government plant, place here to create disinformation. Explain your supportive slant towards Mexicans in our country. Tell all of us here.

    What the heck are you talk’n about? Why wouldn’t an American Citizen care unless your hiring them, or profiting. I care because Mexicans are taken our jobs & driving our wages/PROFITS DOWN. YOU just can’t figure out what’s going on. I’ll yell you.

    Our government is playing good cop bad cop with us, while they allow 10’s of millions of Mex’s & other 3rd world savages into our country. Savages that have 6 kids at our expense, in so many ways. They are allowing this because the gov is working to make American’s Competitive with 3rd world/ developing countries.

  • Porter M. Corn

    Taking out jobs Mike? Man you are drinking the kool aid aren’t you, through an enema tube. What jobs? Trucking jobs? Word is there is going to be a need for 200,000 more of us in a few years.

    Don’t like to hear foreign languages spoken? Surprised you can hear them at all as it’s apparent you have your head stuck so far up your ass you can see you belly button.

    “Savages that have six kids”? Mexican birth rates have fallen to about 2 kids per household now. That could be explained by your assertion about “in so many ways”. How many ways are there to have kids?

    Want a war with Mexico? You wouldn’t like the results. In that regard, Mexican Marines and Special Forces are “savages” and they don’t play nice.

    Am I a “government plant”? Not at all

    Just an American veteran that can think for himself, research the situation and come to my own conclusion.

  • Mike Smith

    So you want to talk vulgar. I will return the favor. Your a piece shit. Nothing lower that a piece of shit. We do need a new French style Revolution in this country where people like you. Your a traitor to your own country. People like you should be tried & executed in public.

    Your one of these government/corporate plants that are assigned to the “disinformation” campaign that’s been going on for years to support MEXICANS IN OUR COUNTRY. There are traitorous scum like you on many sites We have two countries in this discussion, the USA, & Mexico. You failed geography & history. Now you are trying to con’t with the government brainwashing campaign here.

    The only person around here that has his head up ass, is you you piece shit. And your head is stuck up Obama’s ass. You are the same kind of anti-American, pro-Mexican piece of shit we’ve had to put up with for 30 yrs. Now So Cal is all Mexican thanks to scum like you, and the Mexicans are spreading fast.

  • Mike Smith

    There are illegal alien Mexicans who are getting drivers licenses. They can then get a CDL, as they are doing in So. Cal, L.A., Fontana, CA, etc. All the trucks in Fontana area all have Mexican names on them. The CA gov agencies are full of Mexicans who give favors. The CA gov is supportive of Mexicans in CA as a way to supply cheaper labor to the businesses & corporations. Mayor of L.A. has made statements to Authorities to go easy on Mexicans.

    NAFTA is a movement by government to break American Citizens & there standard of living by allowing corp’s to move to Mexico, & have Mexican trucks deliver the products. History dictates this as an act of war on CITIZENS. The corporations own the media so we don’t hear it. The French Revolution was basically about what is happening to us here in the USA; massive amounts of cheap labor for the aristocrats.

  • Mike Smith

    What kinda idiotic statement is this. Since your so stupid, I’ll tell you who we need to take our country back from. From the corporations, and businesses that have overthrown our government. A gov that gets bribed to do there bidding, IE. corporations are people. A government that has allowed 10’s of millions of illegal aliens into our country. A government that has allowed 10’s of millions of legal aliens in. A gov that has allowed these 3rd world savages to have 6 kids for free to them, but at GREAT COST to us; these Anchor Babies, 60 million are now voting. A gov that has allowed corporations to move out of our country. The country & people they OWE there allegiance to. You know, in the same way your dirty filthy despicable ass has taken money you made here in the USA to that shit hole of a country Mexico. I call these things treason. History calls these things treason also.

  • Mike Smith

    IT IS TREASON YOU STUPID ASS HOLE. American Citizens have been betrayed by the corporations that took there companies out of the country that gave birth to them. Betrayed by the corps & small businesses that use illegal Mexicans in out country to grow there businesses. And a gov that has allowed these Mexicans be here, & to use our gov health care for free to birth massive numbers of Mexican babies in my country, taking our vote over 40 years

  • Porter M. Corn

    Go away you pathetic little creature. You’re mama is calling you…… Time to take your meds……

  • Clapton Fan

    Mike, pay no attention to Porter Cornholio. He did alot of drugs in high school and used to get beatup by girls in elementary school. He’s so screwed up he thinks “Japanese” is spelled “Japonese”. Clearly a person with deep seeded issues which he takes out on websites like this so he does not have to face people because of the Anti-American piece of crap he is. What a sad person he must be. But then again, he get’s a check from the government once amonth and he think’s it’s cool living in mom’s basement.

  • Porter M. Corn

    The next lawsuit concerning Medical qualifications will go the same as this one did. Tossed out the door. Simply because the Medical Registry has not been established therefore the argument is moot.

    They fail to acknowledge that Mexican medical certificates are tied into their LCF (Mexican CDL’s) and the exams are administered by a government certified doctor or a third party medical testing facility.

    This is nothing more than one man’s intense hatred of Mexicans, ie: Jim Johnston of OOIDA.

  • Porter M. Corn

    Ya know Marty, most of us talking here will be retired or dead or both before what you suggest happens. I’ve been doing this for 38 years, 20 of that on the border and the most money I’ve made has been hauling freight off the border, from Pharr Texas to El Paso

  • martymarsh

    Just the changes in the last 15 years ought to tell you something, and I have a year on you.

  • martymarsh

    Hey Porter, I see you are making a lot of new friends. Your comment about tea baggers says it all.

  • Porter M. Corn

    Yeah Marty, one can’t have too many friend now can they. Considering the source that I replied to and the comment that followed, I think it was an appropriate use of the term.

  • martymarsh

    That isn’t just Graves, that is all of ATA.

  • martymarsh

    No, all you did was prove divide and conquer works.

  • David

    All I can say is to call or write your represenitives and tell them that this is wrong. We Americans can not compete with Mexican carriers and when we have a goverment that is paying for eobr’s and updating mexican trucks to pass emmisions, our way of life is comming to an end. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.