‘No dog in the hunt,’ DOT says of OOIDA’s, Teamsters’ challenge to Mexico pilot
“OOIDA’s members are not regulated by the program, or eligible to participate in it, and therefore its standing cannot be presumed,” the DOT and FMCSA said in their response.
The Trucker Staff
WASHINGTON — Essentially saying they have “no dog in the hunt,” the Department of Transportation and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Wednesday responded to lawsuits by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the International Brotherhood of Teamster challenging the legality of the cross-border trucking pilot program.
“OOIDA’s members are not regulated by the program, or eligible to participate in it, and therefore its standing cannot be presumed,” the DOT and FMCSA said in their response. “OOIDA’s allegation of an increased risk of injury to its member is not sufficient … absent a showing that some identifiable member of the group faces a ‘substantially’ increased risk of harm and that the overall risk of such harm is ‘substantial.’”
The response said that OOIDA’s competitive standing arguments are also flawed.
“OOIDA cannot show that the program will almost surely cause its members to lose business, because the vast majority of the cross-border deliveries are likely to be made in the commercial zones by carriers already authorized to operate there and because Mexico-domiciled carriers are prohibited from making point-to-point deliveries of domestic freight.”
The pilot program creates a double standard, OOIDA said.
“The obligation of the U.S. under NAFTA to provide national treatment to Mexico-domiciled motor carriers is in complete harmony with U.S. statutes and regulations governing motor carrier safety,” OOIDA said in its suit. “The respondent’s (DOT and FMCSA) pilot program goes well beyond what is required to provide national treatment to Mexico-domiciled motor carriers and drivers. The pilot program violates a number of federal statutes and regulations, causing prejudice to U.S. motor carriers and drivers who must follow all U.S. safety regulations while their Mexican counterparts are instead allowed to comply with selected Mexican regulations. There is not a single word in FMCSA’s proposal or final order explaining why this double standard has been created.”
In filing its suit against the program, the Teamsters said the FMCSA had failed to comply with safety statutes and regulations that expressly govern the granting of any long-haul operating authority to Mexico-domiciled trucking companies and ensure the safe operation of trucks on the nation’s highways.
The Teamsters said that FMCSA had created a program that was not assured of having a sufficient or representative sample of Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to yield valid findings and merely presumes — but cannot demonstrate — that Mexico-domiciled trucks are as safe as their U.S. counterparts.
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The DOT and FMCSA response noted that Teamster members were not regulated by the program or eligible to participate in it.
Their response also said that “Congress has enacted multiple statutes containing preconditions for any test of opening the border to long-haul operations by Mexico-domiciled carriers.
“FMCSA has explained how the pilot program challenges here meet each of those preconditions as well as the existing motor carrier safety laws and regulations,” the agency said.
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