OOIDA, the Teamsters support implementation of USMCA trucking provisions
August 10, 2020
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, will be implemented soon. In the meantime, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have jointly filed comments supporting USMCA.
On Monday, Aug. 10, OOIDA and Teamsters filed official comments encouraging and supporting the U.S. International Trade Commission’s adoption of the proposed interim rules to implement the provisions USMCA regarding investigations of U.S-Mexico cross-border long-haul trucking services.
Under Title III, Subtitle C of USMCA, the trade commission can initiate an investigation when interested parties such OOIDA and the Teamsters file a petition based on specific material harm from grants of authority awarded to Mexican operators. The U.S. Department of Transportation, Department of Commerce, and Customs and Border Protection will help make determinations.
During investigations, several aspects will be looked into, including submarkets (geographically, carrier size, freight type, etc.), border commercial zones/geography and highway safety. Regarding commercial zones, OOIDA and Teamsters are concerned about violation of cabotage regulations that restrict Mexican carriers from making point-to-point deliveries within the United States.
“We believe that neither the federal government nor the states are properly enforcing these cabotage and labor laws which further exacerbates the threat of Mexican motor carriers and drivers to U.S. businesses, jobs, and compensation,” the two groups state. “We are hopeful that the required surveys of operating authority will provide much needed information and analysis on specific interstate routes being utilized by cross-border operators.”
Highway safety was amain driving force behind OOIDA and the Teamsters’ opposition to USMCA’s predecessor, NAFTA.
That agreement allowed Mexican trucking companies and drivers that are not held to the same, rigorous U.S. safety, security, or environmental regulations to operate on American roadways.
“Mexican carriers and drivers that are not held to the same licensing, inspection, vehicle, environmental, and operational regulations endanger the lives of not only professional truck drivers, but certainly the general motoring public as well,” OOIDA and the Teamsters state.
In addition to safety issues, OOIDA and the Teamsters claim that Mexican trucking companies are currently taking away jobs and profits from American drivers and motor carriers. Since USMCA renegotiations began three years ago, OOIDA and the Teamsters worked closely with the U.S. trade representative and congressional committees.
“We were pleased with the outcome at the table and in the implementing bill as USMCA establishes a thorough review process to restrict operating authority for Mexican-domiciled carriers and operators,” the two groups state in comments.