Rules to combat noncompliant Mexican cross-border carriers finalized
April 8, 2021
Less than a year after the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was officially enacted, the U.S. International Trade Commission has published a final rule regarding investigations of noncompliant Mexican cross-border trucking services.
On April 8, the International Trade Commission finalized a rule concerning practices and procedures for investigations of United States-Mexico cross-border long-haul trucking services provided for in the USMCA Implementation Act. During USMCA negotiations, U.S. officials included a provision that ensures that Mexican carriers delivering into the U.S. are compliant with U.S. federal laws.
Since negotiations began in 2017, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association worked closely with the U.S. Trade Representative and Congress to craft a new remedy that addresses the threats of material harm under the North American Free Trade Agreement’s cross-border trucking rules.
“OOIDA applauds USITC for adopting the Implementing Rules for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said. “As originally established by USMCA, these rules formally outline an investigation process that will prevent unsafe Mexican carriers and drivers from limiting wages and economic opportunities for American workers. These rules will also help stop Mexican truckers who are not held to the same safety, security, and environmental standards from operating on American highways.”
Per the USMCA Implementation Act, once an eligible party files a petition or request, the International Trade Commission must start an investigation to determine whether the named motor carrier has caused material harm or threatens material harm to U.S. suppliers of cross-border long-haul trucking services.
If the commission affirms the petition, it will recommend a remedy to the president.
The act specifies certain procedures for such investigations, including who may file a petition or request such investigations, the holding of hearings and publication of notices regarding investigations, the timelines for such investigations and determinations, and the issuance of reports that include the determination, an explanation, and any recommendation for relief.
Parties that can file a petition include a representative of a U.S. long-haul trucking services industry, the president, the trade representative, or upon the resolution of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives or the Committee on Finance of the Senate. Once filed, the commission must make a determination within 120 days. Within 60 days after the determination, the commission must submit its report to the president. Those reports will be made public in the Federal Register.
The final rule will go into effect on May 10. More information about procedures can be found here.
In August, OOIDA and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters filed joint comments supporting USMCA and the cross-border trucking provisions. Highway safety was a main 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 stated. LL