SPECIAL REPORT: Mexico plans to send trucks across border this month

| 8/16/2007

Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007 – A Mexican publication that covers Mexico’s transportation industry reported Wednesday that the Secretariat of Communications and Transportes said that the cross-border pilot program is coming by the end of this month.

Despite continued opposition from Mexican trucker group – CANACAR – the country’s transportation secretary claims the plan is on the move, according to the transportation publication T21.

In a business meeting on Tuesday, Mexican Transportation Secretary Luis Tellez Kuenzler announced that “necessary conditions” in Mexico are a reality. He also said he had been informed by the U.S. Department of Transportation that 37 Mexican carriers have been evaluated as satisfactory.

T21 also reported that on Wednesday, Tellez stated through a press release that the necessary conditions existed to develop the project and declared the Mexican government has decided to stick to the proposed start date, which is the last week of August.

While the Mexican government is chatting up the subject, the U.S. DOT is deadly quiet.

Melissa DeLaney, DOT spokesperson, recited the familiar line for Land Line on Thursday that nothing could happen without the Inspector General’s go-ahead. She said she was not aware of any preliminary report on the status of the pilot program.

“The IG is an independent entity. We don’t have a hand in the process of them doing this report,” she said. “We are complying with the law and the law clearly states this program cannot start until that process has been done.”

T21 reported officials from the Mexican government will meet next week with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters in Tijuana to “see the progress of the program” and to “guarantee the start.”

Delaney confirmed to Land Line that Peters was, indeed, going to Mexico next week.

“She is taking congressional staff down there next week, to highlight border operations, to show them an inspection, show them a ‘PASA’ (Pre-Authorization Safety Audit),” she told Land Line. “(It’s) a very standard trip that happens in recess. Not the first time they’ve taken staff to the border to look at the operations down there.”

 – By Sandi Soendker, managing editor

Mexican news reports translated by OOIDA’s Stephanie Caswell.