US court dismisses legal challenge of Mexican truck pilot

WASHINGTON — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has lost its bid to have a court declare the now-defunct cross-border trucking pilot program illegal.

OOIDA had been trying to revive a federal appeals court review of the cross-border demonstration project.

The issue has been before the court since 2007, but when Congress cut off funding for the project, several parties to the suit, including the Teamsters and the Sierra Club, told the court that the issue was moot and no decision was needed.

The owner-operator group, however, told the court that the question of the lawfulness of the program is still relevant because the DOT is considering a new, similar cross-border pilot and asked for a ruling.

OOIDA contends the trucking pilot program had extended "illegal," de facto exemptions to safety laws while allowing Mexico-based trucking companies and truck drivers to operate on highways throughout the United States.

OOIDA officials expressed disappointment in the ruling.

"Our hope had been the court would still rule on the merits of arguments and evidence showing the pilot program was in direct violation of U.S. laws and regulations," said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.

During a recent trip to Mexico City last week, President Obama said he wants to repair the ongoing trade dispute with Mexico.

Mexico raised tariffs on 90 U.S. imports when Congress killed the pilot program.


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