President Bush signs port security bill

| 10/13/2006

President Bush signed into law Friday a port security bill that should have a big impact on America’s trucking industry.

Most of the new law deals with security at the nation’s ports, but a portion that was crafted by OOIDA requires drivers from Mexico and Canada be checked to assure that they’re operating legally in the U.S.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer told “Land Line Now” on Satellite Radio that a lot of truckers helped win the bill’s passage.

“This is a pretty big legislative victory for us as an organization, and also for the truckers, who basically made the phones ring in Washington with lawmakers,” Spencer said. “That’s really what put this particular provision over the edge. The trucking provision is the only non-port security provision that stayed in the bill – the rest of them were stripped out.”

Spencer said the passage of the bill is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to monitoring foreign trucks in the U.S.

“We’re pleased the legislation has been enacted into law. We will really be more pleased when it actually starts being implemented among the states,” he said.

The port security portion of the bill provides $2 billion over five years to pay for measures like preventing terrorists from smuggling nuclear weapons into the U.S.

It also requires background checks on port workers, including truckers who haul out of ports.

– By Reed Black, staff writer