Protecting jobs and keeping our roads safe

By Tim Ryan, D-OH
U.S. House of Representatives


Two years ago, I spoke on the floor of the United States House of Representatives to expose the serious threats created by cross-border trucking with Mexico and strongly supported legislation that would stop the existing pilot program. While we were not successful in securing this legislation, I continue to back any measure to terminate cross-border trucking, unless strict requirements regarding licensing, hours of service and drug testing are met. Not only does cross-border trucking have a serious impact on the number of jobs in the American trucking industry, it puts drivers on our roads who have not met the basic standards for navigating our highways.

I join OOIDA President Jim Johnston in calling upon the Obama administration to suspend any immediate plans to establish another cross-border trucking program. It is important that our neighbors assure us that their trucks and their drivers are strictly compliant with U.S. safety, security and environmental standards.

It is essential that freight move in safe trucks, that drivers have received the proper amount of sleep, and that environmental regulations are complied with, so that our air is cleaner. These are rational practices that anybody can agree with. If our neighbors want to do business in this country, they must meet our standards. LL

Editor’s note: Congressman Ryan is referring to HR1773, “The Safe American Roads Act of 2007,” which passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 411-3 on May 15, 2007. That legislation was not acted upon by the Senate and effectively died at the end of the 110th Congressional session in December 2008. Congressman Ryan later supported the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, which included the provision that removed funding for the cross-border trucking pilot program, and ultimately led to the program’s termination. The Obama administration has indicated intent to implement another cross-border trucking program with Mexico, although it has yet to create a new program.