(CN) – A U.S. trucking association lost its bid to have the 9th Circuit declare illegal a pilot program that would have allowed up to 100 Mexico-based trucking companies to operate on U.S. highways. The court said the issue was moot, because Congress cut off funding for the project.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association claimed the trucking pilot program flouted federal laws and regulations, including safety laws.
Congress killed the pilot program with the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act. Mexico retaliated by raising tariffs on 90 U.S. imports, according to trucking news sites.
Several parties to the suit, including the Sierra Club and the Brotherhood of Teamsters and Auto Truck Drivers Local No. 70, had urged the court to dismiss the case as moot.
The drivers association argued that the controversy is still relevant, because the Department of Transportation is considering similar pilot programs in the future.
The federal appeals court in San Francisco rejected this concern.
“Even if Congress does not impose the same limitation in future fiscal years, any new pilot … would likely present different questions of statutory and regulatory requirements than the now-terminated program and would likely not fall into the ‘yet evading review’ category,” the court concluded.