The Mexicans are coming – are you worried?

There’s a lot of concern south of the border about a recently-announced pilot project that will give 100 Mexican carriers the green light to operate inside the US. Like Canadian carriers, they will be forbidden from delivering loads from one point to another within the US. However, for the first time since 1982, they’ll be able to deliver loads beyond 20 miles of the US/Mexico border and they will be able to pick up loads for return to Mexico. Currently, they have to drop their trailers within 20 miles of the border for pickup by US carriers.
There’s no limit on how many trucks the 100 carriers that participate can operate in the US.
The Americans don’t like it one bit. At least a growing number of vocal Americans don’t like the idea one bit. The Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the Teamsters and other labour groups have spoken out emphatically against the plan.
“President Bush is willing to risk our national security by giving unfettered access to America’s transportation infrastructure to foreign companies and their government sponsors,” Teamsters leader, James Hoffa recently said. “They are playing a game of Russian roulette on America’s highways.”
Those are some strong words. Are they justified? Under the pilot project, Mexican carriers that operate in the US will be subjected to inspections by American officers and they will be audited by US agencies. They will have to adhere to the same rules as US and Canadian truckers adhere to while operating in the US. I imagine they’ll be on a pretty tight leash. I’ve heard enough horror stories from Canadian drivers about being singled out at US inspection stations – I can only imagine what the Mexicans will be in for.
For those of you who frequent the US, are you concerned about sharing the road with Mexican trucks and truckers? Or is the ‘Say No to Mexico’ crusade simply a case of protectionism – or worse yet, xenophobia?

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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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  • Hallo
    I am an international truck driver in Europe. I work for a Swiss company. Like the German, Austria and other western European driver, we earn not bad. But in the past few years happens something bad. Now, the eastern European driver are allowed to drive all over Europe too. They are cheaper. So what happend? Many of the western European driver lost there job because they are too expensive. What will happen in America? The same. The Mexican are cheaper. President Bush makes a big mistake. A lot of American will loose their job and the safety on American roads will suffer as it did in Europe. Yes sure, this eastern Europe driver are poor guys. They have to work damn hard and earn nothing. So we both loose. Only a few guys earn a hell lot of money for the price of Security. If somebody of you understand German, then read this book and you will see what is going to happen in North America too. Book: Tatort Autobahn. ISBN: 3-593-37316-5
    Thank you and take care. Protect America, the American highways, and all the people who are on the road.
    Marco (Long Haul Trucker Switzerland)