News Releases

Statement by Sen. Patty Murray on the Opening of the Border to Mexican Trucks

Nov 27 2002

Because of the intervention of Congress, the safety and licensing requirements are a lot stronger than what the Administration had proposed

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – In response to a strict, new safety regime developed by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and the U.S. Congress, the Administration today certified that Mexican trucks would now be allowed to operate throughout the United States.

The announcement comes nearly a year after Congress adopted the Murray-Shelby compromise, which stated that Mexican trucks would be allowed to operate only after a strict safety inspection and licensing regime for trucks and drivers was in place.

Last year, the White House proposed throwing open the border to all Mexican trucks, while the House voted to prevent any Mexican trucks from entering. It was Sen. Patty Murray, Chair of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who developed compromise legislation to first require the thorough new inspection system, before allowing the trucks to roll.

Today the administration certified that it was in compliance with the Murray-Shelby legislation.

Sen. Murray released the following statement:

"The Bush Administration originally proposed an inadequate safety regime for Mexican trucks, allowing them access to U.S. highways after simply filling out a questionnaire. Instead, the Senate and the Congress required that a series of strict safety requirements be put in place before the border was opened.

With today's action, Secretary Mineta is certifying that those conditions have been met. If he is correct, then it will have been worth the wait.

Because of the intervention of Congress, the safety and licensing requirements are a lot stronger than what the Administration had proposed. With increased sensitivity at our borders, this will help protect Americans while encouraging economic progress between Mexico and the U.S.

But the real proof will be in the condition of the trucks and drivers that U.S. inspectors allow on our roads. My subcommittee will continue to monitor the enforcement of our inspection laws."