Dear Association Member,
As you may have already heard, there are indications that the U.S. DOT will be formally implementing its crossborder trucking pilot program with Mexico as early as next Thursday, September 6. At this point, no one beyond the White House, top brass at the DOT and their friends in the Mexican government knows exactly when this will happen or how they will try to justify their actions. The DOT knows that they are going against the will of the American people and Congress as well as venturing into blatantly illegal territory. As such, we again find ourselves in the midst of much speculation and struggling to separate fact from fiction as our own government has not yet provided any formal notices or official statements to clue the public into their timing or specific intentions.
What we do know is that yesterday an official from the U.S. Department of Justice tipped off a lawyer that DOT was planning to start the pilot program on September 1 (the target date has apparently now been pushed back to September 6). This lawyer is associated with the coalition of organizations that we have been leading in opposition of opening the border to Mexico-domiciled trucks. Some of the members of that coalition opted to file an emergency injunction to stop the pilot program though they did not yet have documentation to directly prove DOT’s intentions. Though our name is not on that legal action, it is a move we certainly support.
We also know that the Mexican government published a notice today indicating that they would be moving forward with their part of the pilot program (allowing U.S. carriers to go south) as early as tomorrow. This is consistent with statements that the Mexican government has been making for the past few months despite the efforts that have been made north of the border by the U.S. Congress to put the brakes on the pilot program and ultimately strip all funding for it.
Rest assured that OOIDA is doing everything that we possibly can to stop the DOT. We are fighting a unique and historic battle in that we and our coalition have won several significant victories on Capitol Hill and yet the Administration continues to roll forward in defiance of Congress, the American people and the laws of our land. Instead of implementing and abiding by the laws that have been written by Congress, the executive branch of our government is clearly ignoring their Constitutional responsibilities and limitations.
As soon as DOT moves in an official fashion to start the pilot program by issuing a public notice or formal statement, OOIDA will be filing a legal challenge to put an immediate stop to their efforts. As you may know, many strong and valid efforts in the courts have been tossed out on technicalities and procedural missteps. We do not want to miss out on an opportunity to stop the crossborder program by jumping the gun with a less than solid legal challenge.
OOIDA will also continue our efforts on Capitol Hill to reign in the DOT. In addition to what we have been able to achieve there already we have initiated other legislative efforts. I ask that as a member of OOIDA and as a citizen of the United States, you also do all that you can to help put a stop to the crossborder program.
Please call and fax your elected representatives in Washington, especially your U.S. Senators. They need to hear from you as soon as possible and continue to hear from you until they are truly working on your behalf. I also ask that you encourage your family, friends and acquaintances to contact their lawmakers. Operators at the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202- 224-3121) can connect you to the offices of your elected officials. If you are not sure who your Representative or Senators are, the operators will ask for your zip code and put you through to their offices. You are also welcome to call the Association at 800-444-5791, we will be happy to look up telephone and fax numbers for you.
Please know that your Association is working hard on your behalf and please do what you can to help. I do not have to tell you what is riding on our efforts to stop DOT or what the short and long term implications are if we fail.
With sincere appreciation,
Jim Johnston, President
1 NW OOIDA Drive • PO Box 1000 • Grain Valley, Missouri 64029 • Tel: (816) 229-5791 • Fax: (816) 427-4468