Senator Murray Announces Deal on Mexican Trucks

Nov 28 2001

Retains every safety provision of original Murray-Shelby Compromise

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) After lengthy negotiations with the Department of Transportation, Senator Murray (D-Wash.) and Congressman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) have reached an agreement with the White House to ensure the safety of Mexican trucks on American highways.

In August, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Murray-Shelby Compromise, which imposed a strong safety regime on Mexican trucks entering the United States. Over the last several weeks, Sen. Murray, Sen. Shelby (R-Ala.) and their House counterparts, Rep. Hal Rogers and Rep. Martin Olav Sabo (D-Minn.) have been in discussions with the White House on how to retain the strong safety provisions while averting a Presidential veto of the entire $60 billion Transportation spending bill.

Sen. Murray released the following statement:

"We are pleased that we have reached an agreement on Mexican trucks that retains the critical safety principles that are so important to the American people and to the seventy members of the United States Senate who supported them.

I am especially pleased that every facet of the safety provisions in the original Murray-Shelby compromise is contained in this final deal. The areas of compromise were reached in the implementation of the safety provisions, where we have afforded the Department of Transportation the latitude to swiftly implement the inspection regime."

Specific areas of agreement include:

  • Requires electronic verification of the license of every Mexican truck driver crossing the border who is carrying high-risk cargo and verification of at least half of all other Mexican truckers every time they cross the border.

  • Subjects Mexican trucking firms to rigorous on-site inspections before their trucks are allowed access to American highways, and requires every Mexican truck to undergo a physical inspection every 90 days to operate in the United States.

  • Once Mexican trucks are allowed in the U.S., they will only be allowed to cross the border at those border crossings where inspectors are on duty and there is adequate capacity to conduct safety enforcement activities.

  • Requires comprehensive safety examinations of Mexican trucking firms before they are granted conditional authority and allowed into the United States. These safety exams verify that Mexican trucking firms have a drug and alcohol-testing program, proof of insurance, and drivers with clean driving records.

  • Prohibits any Mexican Trucking firm from operating in the U.S. until the Inspector General has conducted a thorough audit of the U.S. Government's ability to enforce strict safety standards on all Mexican trucks crossing the border.

  • Prohibits any Mexican trucking firm from operating in the U.S. until the Secretary of Transportation, after reviewing the I.G.'s audit, certifies in writing that the opening of the border will not present an unacceptable safety risk.
"I have said all along that we can ensure our safety and promote commerce at the same time," said Murray. "In August, an overwhelming majority of Senators voted for the Murray-Shelby Compromise, and now all of its safety principles have been accepted by the White House. This is a victory for safety, for trade, and for both our countries."