A new cross-border trucking program with Mexico could be in place within two months, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne S. Ferro said.
However, she doesn’t expect a wave of Mexican trucks heading for the U.S. border.
Ferro spoke to trucking, logistics and technology industry executives at SMC3’s annual summer conference last Thursday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
The FMCSA expects the U.S. and Mexico to agree on a final program “quite soon” and to grant authority to the first Mexican carrier in the program “sometime in August.”
“We expect before the summer is over to have the demonstration project” in place “with tougher safety standards,” Ferro said at the SMC3 conference.
That will end $2.4 billion in punitive tariffs Mexico placed on U.S. goods when the Bush administration’s cross-border pilot project was shut down in 2009.
However, Ferro expects only a small group of Mexican carriers will register to participate in a three-year cross-border trucking demonstration project.
“There were 29 carriers and 100 vehicles in the last project, and we expect the numbers to be about the same,” Ferro said, referring to the Bush-era pilot program.
The new cross-border trucking project is opposed by U.S. labor groups, led by the Teamsters union, and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
Business groups affected by the punitive tariffs, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Trucking Associations support the demonstration project.