Lawmaker says Congress may take action on FMCSA’s opening of Mexican border

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Updated Jan 24, 2015

mexicoAs of last week, any Mexican carrier domiciled on the other side of the border can apply for authority to operate in the U.S. outside of the commercial border zone — a privilege previously reserved only for Mexican carriers admitted to the DOT’s cross-border trucking pilot program.

Opening the U.S. border for Mexican carriers, however, likely won’t be without challenges. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has already said he intends to use potential upcoming legislation to push FMCSA to address what he calls “ongoing concerns” with the program.

DeFazio said lawmakers will be taking a look at cross-border trucking with the upcoming renewal of federal highway funding — Congress’ stopgap measure cleared this summer expires in May.

According to an article on Politico, DeFazio said last week he is “waiting to hear about” the concerns he has with “what goes on on the Mexican side of the border.”

Politico’s article says DeFazio referenced a DOT Office of Inspector General report released late last year that concluded the agency did not have enough participants in its three-year pilot program to make proper determinations about safety of Mexican carriers.

FMCSA, however, says it had plenty of data, as it gathered more on other Mexican carriers not in the program.

It’s also unclear how much support DeFazio can drum up — Major carrier lobbies like the American Trucking Associations support the expansion of cross-border trucking, and the president likely will back FMCSA’s move.