December 2017

Overdrive Magazine | Trucking Business News & Owner Operator Info

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Page 13 of 75

12 | Overdrive | December 2017 Logbook A rework of the U.S. De- partment of Transporta- tion's cross-border trucking program with Mexico is under consideration in a planned update of the North American Free Trade Agreement, accord- ing to Teamsters staffer Mike Dolan. NAFTA currently allows any Mex- ican-based carrier to ap- ply for authority to operate in the United States. The Trump adminis- tration and a broad set of stakeholders across multi- ple industries are engaged in meetings to try to ham- mer out a new version of the 23-year-old agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico. The so-called NAFTA 2.0 nego- tiations are taking place as closed-door meetings, and no documents from the meetings had been made public at press time. Dolan, a member of the U.S. negotiation team as a legislative representative for the Teamsters, said reforms to the cross-bor- der program have been proposed for NAFTA 2.0. Dolan said he's not free to discuss the reforms, but their purpose is to give Congress and DOT "space to continue to regulate cross-border truck operations in a way that safeguards highway safety." Though the Trump administration inherited the ability to fast-track international trade deals in Congress, the implemen- tation of NAFTA 2.0 still needs to clear prominent hurdles before being ad- opted. The likely toughest component to completing the deal, Dolan said, is getting the three nations to agree. After that, the deal must be approved by Congress and signed by the president. The Teamsters have been an outspoken critic of the original cross-border trucking program required by NAFTA. The Own- er-Operator Independent Drivers Association also has opposed the pro- gram, joining the Team- sters more than once in court challenges against it. The agreement, signed by President Clinton in 1994, required DOT to in- stitute a cross-border truck- ing pilot program and, eventually, open the border to all Mexican carriers that obtain DOT operating authority. Mexican-domi- ciled carriers under the NAFTA-required program must complete all the nec- essary tests and compliance reviews required of U.S. carriers. DOT, after a pilot program held between 2011 and 2014, an- nounced in January 2015 it had opened the authority application process to all Mexican carriers. The pilot program failed to generate much participa- tion, leading to one of the Teamsters' failed court challenges in which OOI- DA participated. – James Jaillet Cross-border trucking part of NAFTA talks PETERBILT WILL CELEBRATE its one-millionth truck rolling off the assembly line in January by awarding a commemorative Model 567 Heritage (similar to the photo) to the winner of the company's SuperFan Search contest. Through Dec. 22, drivers can submit their stories, videos and photos that show their Peterbilt passion. Submissions can be made at Peterbilt.com/SuperfanSearch. A Teamsters representative said the cross-border stipulations and renego- tiations are meant to "modernize" NAFTA and its provisions.

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