Texas group eyes Mexico trucking trade

Published April, 21 2009

A San Antonio, Texas, business organization is launching a group called the Cross Border Trucking Coalition to support cross-border trucking, trade with Mexico and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Free Trade Alliance said the coalition will be comprised of companies, industry organizations, trade associations and business chambers. The group is soliciting members in the United States and Mexico.

FTA said it is to deal with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s recent cancellation of its two-year Cross Border Trucking Demonstration Project. Mexican officials said closing the trucking project violated NAFTA and responded by slapping a $2.4 billion tariff on U.S. industrial and agriculture goods.

President Obama has said he wants to revive in some form the program, which Congress voted to end. Last week, he met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and repeated his desire to resolve the dispute.

FTA is a public-private partnership that aims to develop and enhance the international trade-related economic development of San Antonio and the region through foreign investment, trade development and advocacy.

On another issue related to the cross-border dispute, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today, April 20, dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and joined by the Teamsters union and other groups against DOT. The court said the lawsuit was moot because Congress recently ended the program.

OOIDA said it was disappointed with the ruling. OOIDA said the trucking program had violated U.S. safety laws by allowing Mexico-based trucking companies and truck drivers to operate on U.S. highways.