After nearly three weeks of demonstrating in Washington D.C., a group of truckers finally met with White House officials to ask for federal help in their fight against cheap freight.
On May 20, Jim Mullen, Acting Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff, hosted trucking representatives Mike Landis and Sergey “C.J.” Karman at a White House meeting.
Landis represents the United States Transportation Alliance (USTA). Karman founded and spearheads Ezlogz.
President Trump was not present at the meeting.
Following the hour-long meeting, Karman and Landis recapped what happened for a jovial group of truckers outside of the White House.
“We broke it down for them, transparency, and what it’s about, what exactly we want, how do we see it,” Karman said.
Landis said, “It was a hell of an experience, I’ll say that. I’m honored that me and C.J. got to go and represent you guys and the other 89.7% of this industry that they acknowledged in there they understand now is not represented by the ATA (American Trucking Associations), which is why they allowed us to come in there.”
One of the most interesting developments reported by Karman and Landis after the meeting was that the Department of Justice has opened an investigation into trucker claims of price gouging and antitrust violations by brokers. This confirms Tuesday reporting from Patch.com that Attorney General William Barr had ordered New Jersey US Attorney Craig Carpenito to open an investigation into freight broker price gouging accusations.
Karman and Landis also reported that the White House asked them to provide three ideas on how to solve broker transparency problems as the next step forward in the process.
Landis ended the gathering by remarking that “For us, this is a pretty good step in the right direction. We’re not going to call victory but they understand that we have no representation except ourselves. They understand the issue, and they understand that we as Americans want this fixed, as Americans for Americans … The President is on our side and he wants us to succeed and he doesn’t want us to be overrun.”
The group said that they would likely stay one more day to celebrate and then head home, ending their nearly 3 week long vigil on Constitution Avenue.
Yesterday, OOIDA made a similar push for broker transparency in a letter addressed to the FMCSA. OOIDA asked authorities to require electronic copies of broker transactions to be automatically delivered to motor carriers. The group also asked FMCSA to increase penalties and enforcement for brokers who do not comply with existing federal regulations related to broker transparency.