OOIDA, Teamsters call for probe of Mexican trucking industry

Groups representing owner-operator truck drivers and small carriers have urged the government to investigate whether Mexico-based carriers pose economic harm to the U.S. trucking industry.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters sent a joint letter Tuesday asking the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to investigate if “the U.S. long-haul trucking industry is materially harmed by an increase in cross-border trucking services provided by Mexican suppliers.”

“Because Mexico-based trucking companies and drivers are not held to the same, rigorous U.S. safety and security regulations, they are endangering the American public and taking away jobs and profits from American drivers and carriers,” said Todd Spencer, the president of OOIDA, in a release

OOIDA and Teamsters officials are concerned about violations of cabotage regulations that restrict Mexican trucking companies from making point-to-point deliveries within the United States.

OOIDA and the Teamsters requested U.S. officials use provisions in the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to investigate Mexican trucking companies and operators.

The USMCA entered into force July 1. While the USMCA is fully implemented, Mexico has objected to certain provisions, including an interim rule restricting Mexican truckers on U.S. highways, as well as a provision that could cap the number of Mexican carriers obtaining operating authority in the U.S. 

“We believe prompt adoption of these interim rules will enhance and expedite the investigation process outlined in USMCA,” Spencer said.

Currently around 66 Mexican trucking companies provide cross-border transportation services, with more than 600 drivers and trucks, according to Mexico’s National Chamber of Freight Transport (CANACAR).

Missouri-based OOIDA is a trade association representing small-business and professional truck drivers. Its members own and operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks, according to OOIDA.

The Teamsters union said it represents roughly 600,000 truck drivers in Canada and the U.S.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

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