Cross-border trucking opponents meet at border

Updated Oct 21, 2011

Leading opponents of the cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico united for a press conference near a California border crossing Oct. 19.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, U.S. Reps. Bob Filner and Duncan Hunter, both of California, and the Teamsters union gathered near the Otay Mesa truck inspection facility. The first Mexican carrier approved for program participation, Transportes Olympic, is equipped with an electronic onboard recorder and is expected to make its first delivery under the new program as early as Oct. 21.

The past two presidential administrations have made the program a priority, said Joe Kasper, a spokesman for Hunter’s office. Given that, the Republican representative’s hope is that the United States will suspend the operating authority of Mexican program participants when the program expires.

To that end, Hunter and Filner, his Democrat counterpart, are among 19 co-sponsors of Protecting America’s Roads Act, or H.R. 2407. The bill would end authority gained by Mexican carrier participants at the end of the program and bar paying for electronic monitoring of Mexican carrier participants with U.S. tax dollars.

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, (D-Ore.) introduced the bill, which was referred to the Highways and Transit subcommittee July 7.