Last September the Teamsters and Public Citizen filed a suit in an attempt to prevent Mexican trucks from crossing into the United States, accusing the Obama administration of not applying strict enough standards in their Cross-Border Agreement which would allow Mexican carriers to operate in the U.S. under the grounds that Mexico would abolish $2.4 billion worth the retaliatory tariffs placed on U.S. goods back in 2009.
With three Mexican carriers already granted access into the program, the groups have decided to file another suit last Wednesday, November 23rd, arguing that “the government must first assess the environmental impact of a pilot project before letting it go,” according to the AP Associated Press.
Already one Mexican carrier entering into the U.S., Grupo Behr de Baja, was deemed to operate a junker, running a 1991 tractor which likely does not contain an engine model of 1998 or later to comply with EPA regulations. Road Scholar Transport, however, operates newer equipment, including 2012 models that are significantly greener than older engines. For instance, it would take 42 of our 2012 trucks to emit as much diesel particulate as just one 2007 model.
As Teamsters Jim Hoffa states, “Opening the border to these dangerous, dirty trucks is an attack on highway safety, an attack on American truckers and warehouse workers, an attack on border security and an attack on our environment. It’s outrageous enough that we’ve outsourced millions of jobs to foreign countries, but now we’re bringing foreign workers across the border into the United States to take our jobs. This is another pressure the American middle class doesn’t need. … Congress has repeatedly and overwhelmingly set tough safety conditions for any cross-border trucking program, and this one clearly doesn’t meet those conditions” (http://www.overdriveonline.com/lawsuit-challenges-cross-border-program/?pg=1).
While the Teamsters and Public Citizen continue to proceed with their suit, Mexican ambassador Arturo Sarukhan believes that “the teamsters were engaging in protectionism” stating that “first it was about the safety of the Mexican rigs, no with nowhere to run with that argument, the new red herring is an alleged environmental impact” (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5inav1khh2gE56JctztHQA5iTi8BA?docId=b7f943a4a1d74916aa0e66f41bcc0056).
The suit cites the following as problems created by the pilot program (provided by overdriveonline.com):
• Waives a law that trucks must display certain proof that they meet federal safety standards;
• Breaks the law requiring the pilot program to achieve an equivalent level of safety because Mexican drivers don’t have to meet the same physical requirements as U.S. drivers;
• Breaks the law that Mexico must provide simultaneous and comparable access to U.S. trucks. Mexico cannot do so because of the limited availability of ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel in Mexico, the suit alleges;
• Breaks the law that the pilot program must include enough participants to be statistically valid. The suit argues that FMCSA’s proposal ensures that only the best Mexican trucks participate, which would allow it to justify letting any Mexican truck over the border in the future; and;
• Doesn’t comply with the environment requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act.
Road Scholar Transport, on the other hand, abides by the rules and regulations, operating out of our Dunmore, PA headquarters with additional terminals in Leominster, MA-Jersey City, NJ-Philadelphia, PA- and Denver, PA. Visit www.roadscolar.com to learn all about Road Scholar Transport’s secure transport methods.
Do you believe that the Teamsters and Public Citizen are in the right suing over the Cross-Border Agreement? List your comments below.