The cross-border trucking demonstration project will be extended for two years as permitted under U.S. law.
John H. Hill, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, released the following statement:
"I am pleased with the success of our demonstration project, but the participation has been limited by the uncertainty of the project's longevity. A number of potential companies have been unwilling to invest the time and resources necessary to participate due to uncertainties concerning the project's longevity.
We intend this extension to reassure trucking companies that they will have sufficient time to realize a return on their investment, and we anticipate additional participation with this extra time. The extension will ensure that the demonstration project can be reviewed and evaluated on the basis of a more comprehensive body of data.
FMCSA has adhered to the law and exceeded requirements established by Congress, both safety and otherwise, for implementing our obligations under NAFTA. To date, the project has shown that U.S. and Mexican carriers can engage in cross-border trucking operations in compliance with applicable laws and with no compromise to public safety or security. In fact, Mexican trucks and drivers have established compliance rates equal or better to those of U.S. trucks and drivers.
Last year, Congress mandated that the demonstration project be operated as a pilot program, which is governed by statute, and can run for up to three years."
The extension of the demonstration project is discussed in a Federal Register notice. The notice is available online.
The following statement was offered by Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, in reaction to the Department of Transportation's extension of the cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico:
"It is outrageous that the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a two-year extension to its cross-border trucking pilot program. It's bad enough that DOT has for months ignored Congress's direction to discontinue the program. But an extension of this program is a figurative crash through the legal barricades that Congress erected.
The safety and security flaws of this program remain unresolved, yet DOT continues to fight for it. A bipartisan majority of Congress voted to stop this program for those reasons, yet DOT extends it.
And while this illegal pilot program currently pertains to trucks, the same trade agreement that made it possible could also permit cross-border passenger bus service. We have untested drivers in uninspected trucks on our highways now. We may have untested drivers in uninspected buses – filled with people – barreling down our highways soon. I don't understand why the Administration thinks this is worth fighting for."