Despite House Action, Mexican Trucks to Travel to Chicago
Washington, Sep 12 - For the last 25 years, Mexican-domiciled trucks, trucking companies and drivers have been limited to operating within a 25-mile zone along our southern border. However, despite legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, Mexican trucks have begun to travel well past our border - to South Carolina, New York and coming soon - Chicago, Illinois.
This past Thursday, the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) granted permission to the first of what is to be many Mexican trucking companies to transport goods into the heartland of America.
Many are concerned about the safety, security and economic risks of opening our roads to Mexico-domiciled trucks. Just this week a Mexican truck loaded with dynamite crashed and exploded in northern Mexico killing 35 people.
I am proud to have cosponsored the Safe American Roads Act (H.R. 1773) which passed the House this past May. This important legislation would ensure that Mexico-domiciled trucks, trucking companies and drivers are held to the same standards as their American counterparts. Unfortunately, this bill is sitting idle in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee while Mexican truckers stream across our border.
The Associated Press has reported that the U.S. DOT will increase the number of Mexican trucking firms operating in the United States by 25 per month, until 100 are operational. This will bring the number of Mexican trucks operating north of the border to more than 1,000.
The trucking industry is an important component to the economy of the Sixth Congressional District and the Chicagoland area. The manufacturing industry alone employs more than 68,000 people in our district, often relying on goods and material from Mexico.
Our economy has always thrived on healthy competition, but we should not sacrifice the jobs of truckers in our district for those of Mexico-domiciled trucks that compete on an uneven playing field by cutting costs on safety measures. I urge the U.S. DOT to halt this dangerous program until all security concerns are completely addressed by Congress before expanding access to U.S. highways.