Congress may use highway bill to challenge FMCSA’s cross-border expansion

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mexican_trucksAs of last week, any Mexican carrier domiciled on the other side of the border can apply for authority to operate in the U.S. outside of the commercial border zone — a privilege previously reserved only for Mexican carriers admitted to the DOT’s cross-border trucking pilot program.

Opening the U.S. border for Mexican carriers, however, likely won’t be without challenges. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has already said he intends to use potential upcoming legislation to push FMCSA to address what he calls “ongoing concerns” with the program.

DeFazio said lawmakers will be taking a look at cross-border trucking with the upcoming renewal of federal highway funding — Congress’ stopgap measure cleared this summer expires in May.

According to an article from Politico, DeFazio said last week he is “waiting to hear about” the concerns he has with “what goes on on the Mexican side of the border.”

Politico’s article says DeFazio referenced a DOT Office of Inspector General report released late last year that concluded the agency did not have enough participants in its three-year pilot program to make proper determinations about safety of Mexican carriers.

FMCSA, however, says it had plenty of data, as it gathered more on other Mexican carriers not in the program.