U.S. trucking groups have lost an appeals court challenge to a federal pilot program that allows Mexican truck drivers to cross the border and deliver goods in the U.S., Bloomberg reports.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., rejected an argument by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association that Mexican commercial drivers’ licenses are invalid in the U.S. and also dismissed claims by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters that medical standards for Mexican truck drivers do not meet U.S. standards and that the pilot program is unlawful because not all Mexican vehicles are required to display a decal certifying that they comply with U.S. safety standards.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had determined that the Mexican medical standards would provide a level of safety at least equivalent to U.S. standards as a whole, U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote on behalf of a three-judge panel. The requirement to display the safety sticker applies to items imported into the U.S., not the trucks carrying them, he said.
“This whole program is a slap in the face to U.S. drivers that go to great lengths to comply with an ever-tightening regulatory noose,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the owner-operators association, in an emailed statement to a Bloomberg reporter.
The Teamsters said in a separate written statement that it is “disappointed” by the court’s decision to uphold the legality of the pilot program and is reviewing options with attorneys, and in the meantime will continue to fight against “dangerous Mexican trucks.”