Mexican pilot program meeting resistance on multiple fronts

| 3/30/2007

As the opening of the border to 100 Mexico-based motor carriers – with an unlimited number of trucks – nears, the natives in the U.S. trucking industry are becoming restless.

While the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has focused its efforts on supporting legislation to delay or stop the pilot program, other voices are urging truckers to stage a boycott of the four states on the Mexico border at the end of April.

“The planned boycott is yet another strong message being sent to lawmakers that the Mexican pilot program is raising serious concerns among truckers in the industry,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said.

While the boycott is being planned for the end of April, OOIDA is continuing to push legislative efforts to stop the pilot program.

“This program must be fought on many fronts. Right now, OOIDA is working hand-in-hand with lawmakers to push legislation that is designed to stop this poorly thought through program,” Spencer said.

Spencer pointed to the success that truckers have already enjoyed in pushing legislation to stop the pilot program. He said truckers deserve the credit for getting the legislation to the point it is now.

“Thanks in large part to phone calls from thousands of truckers, the U.S. Senate Appropriations committee added an amendment to a bill that effectively puts the brakes on the DOT’s planned Mexican trucking pilot program,” he explained.

“But it can’t stop there. The debate in the Senate is continuing and it is critical to talk with your lawmakers and encourage their support of Section 4001 in the supplemental appropriations bill.”

The Senate isn’t alone in the debate over the Mexican pilot program. The House now has two bills taking aim at the pilot program as well – one introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-CA, and a second bill introduced by Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-KS.

“With these bills now active in the House, it is crucial for truckers to talk to their representative and show their support for that legislation as well,” Spencer said.

– By Jami Jones, senior editor