SAN FRANCISCO — The Teamsters Union Wednesday presented oral arguments in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit here, challenging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s 2015 decision to open the border to Mexico-domiciled motor carriers for long-haul operations.
The lawsuit contends that the FMCSA’s final report to Congress in January 2015 violated the Administrative Procedures Act because its conclusion — that Mexico-domiciled carriers operate at a level of safety equal to or greater than U.S. and Canadian carriers — is arbitrary and capricious in light of the admitted lack of significant data from a pilot program Congress required DOT to conduct.
The DOT Office of Inspector General issued a report which acknowledged that it had been unable to develop statistically significant data in the pilot program.
Because of the lack of significant data, the OIG could not have determined with any degree of confidence the future safety performance of Mexico-domiciled carriers, the union said.
“The FMCSA has moved forward with authorizing Mexican motor carriers to engage in long-haul operations despite the pilot program failing to provide any significant evidence or data that shows these trucks are safe,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “This is irresponsible and dangerous.”
Only 13 carriers participated in the Mexico Cross-Border Trucking Pilot Program, which expired in October 2014.
The pilot program failed to test the safety of long-haul operations originating in Mexico and traveling throughout the United States beyond the commercial zones where Mexican trucks are already permitted to travel, the union said, noting that most of the data was obtained from within those commercial zones.