Court denies petitions for review of cross-border trucking program

By Jami Jones, senior editor | 4/19/2013

A pair of petitions filed by three groups calling for a review of the U.S.-Mexico long-haul trucking pilot program were rejected April 19 by the U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, along with Public Citizen, filed two separate petitions for review last year. The cases were later joined and oral arguments were heard in December 2012.

OOIDA’s petition asked the court to “enjoin, set aside, suspend (in whole or in part) or determine the validity of the implementation of (DOT’s cross-border program).”

“Implementation of the pilot program is arbitrary, capricious and abuse of discretion and otherwise not in accordance with law,” the Association’s petition states.

The Association has adamantly opposed opening the border because Mexico has failed to institute regulations and enforcement programs that are even remotely similar to those in the United States and because there would be no relevant corresponding reciprocity for U.S. truckers.

The court’s decision denies the petitions for review, disagreeing with all of the various arguments presented by OOIDA, Teamsters and Public Citizen.

“The court has apparently read laws passed by Congress intended to establish greater safeguards to ensure Mexican truckers comply with U.S. laws and safety standards and construed to them to give FMCSA authority to accept less than full compliance with U.S. safety laws by Mexican truckers,” said Paul Cullen Jr., with The Cullen Law Firm, OOIDA’s litigation counsel.

“OOIDA laid out careful, detailed arguments describing how Mexican laws do not meet U.S. safety standards and how the pilot program permits Mexican truckers not to comply with U.S. laws. It is disappointing that the Court’s opinion does not describe how it analyzed those issues.”

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