1/7/2011 8:30:00 AM
The Obama administration Thursday released an outline of what the resumption of a cross-border trucking program with Mexico would look like, in an effort to stem the ongoing dispute that has led to Mexico putting tariffs on some U.S. goods.
The principles are similiar to the program established by the Bush administration but was shuttered by Congress in 2009.
While the Department of Transportation said more details would be coming in the next few months, â€œconcept documentâ€� is available on DOTâ€™s website (PDF).
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood presented the outline â€” which calls for safety audits of Mexican carriers wishing to enter the United States and enhanced monitoring of trucks taking part in the program â€” to Congress and to Mexico for consideration.
Rod Nofziger, director of government affairs for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, told Transport Topics that the driver group â€œappreciatedâ€� DOT allowing for review and comment of its proposal, but said â€œthey seem to be missing our primary objections,â€� which include potential safety issues of Mexican trucks.
In an effort to reopen the border, Mexico has imposed tariffs on dozens of goods accounting for billions of dollars of trade between the two countries.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who chairs of the Senate committee overseeing DOTâ€™s budget, said she was glad that the administration was â€œmoving forward with a plan to finally end the devastating Mexican tariffs.â€�
Murray also called on the Mexican government to end the tariffs. The Mexican embassy in Washington was not available for immediate comment.
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