Truckers Emerge From White House Meeting Declaring “We Won a Battle”
Washington D.C. – Two leaders of the ongoing rally in Washington D.C. met with top Trump Administration officials at the White House on Wednesday morning.
After almost three weeks of protesting in our nation’s capital, President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, along with Jim Mullen, Acting Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) met with Mike Landis, founder of the United States Transportation Alliance (USTA) and Sergey “C.J.” Karman, founder and CEO of Ezlogz, in the West Wing of the White House.
President Trump was not in attendance, according to Landis and Karman.
After emerging from the more than hour-long meeting, Landis and Karman addressed a spirited and determined group of truckers, who many have been protesting in our nation’s capital for nearly three weeks.
At the top of the list of topics discussed was enforcing federal regulations which require freight brokers to provide a record of each transaction to the carrier upon request after the delivery.
49 CFR 371.3 has become a rallying cry for many independent truckers demanding transparency in the process with brokers.
“We broke it down to them about transparency,” Karman told the protesters.
In fact, Karman explained that both Meadows and Mullen indicated it was “not a bad idea to make transparency mandatory before the load is booked.”
According to Karman, Meadows asked Mullen for five set up packages from brokers and three specific recommendations on how the FMCSA intends to fix the issue.
One idea that has been floated in recent days is capping brokers at a certain percentage on each load.
Karman made it clear that both Meadows and Mullen had no interest in such a plan because the United States economy is a “free market.”
Additionally, Karman says Mullen acknowledged that many brokers require carriers to waive the right to view the transaction record as part of its contracts with carriers.
“What they [brokers] are doing working around the clause is not right,” Karman indicated Mullen expressed.
Also discussed was a United States Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation launched this week into alleged price fixing and antitrust violations by freight brokers.
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The investigation is being led by New Jersey U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito with the Antitrust Division.
Multiple sources who wish to remain anonymous have confirmed to TNN that they have already been interviewed by DOJ prosecutors as part of the investigation.
The DOJ probe comes on the heels of President Donald Trump speaking out on the issue in recent weeks.
Mr. Trump has publicly stated he believes truckers are being “price gouged” and brokers are taking “a lot business away” from independent contractors.
“The President is listening. The President is on our side. He wants us to succeed,” Karman emphatically stated to the group. “Thank God for this Administration and this President.”
Landis described the meeting as “great,” but said he and Karman were “tested” with some difficult questions.
“We weren’t nervous because what we can back up with truth and experience, they can’t do anything about it. We have actual real world data… real world experience in this industry in doing this stuff and we proved it today,” Landis said.
Also a major issue for the group is winning better representation in the federal rulemaking process.
Landis indicated both Meadows and Mullen admitted small business truckers need a seat at the table.
“It was a hell of an experience, I’ll tell you that. I’m honored that me and CJ got to go in there and represent you guys and the 89.7 percent of this industry that they acknowledged in there, and they understand now, is not represented by the American Trucking Association (ATA),” Landis stated.
Wednesday’s meeting was the culmination of many years of hard work and sacrifice among many in the grassroots trucking community.
While, Landis and Karman acknowledged there is still much work to be done, they urged the group to enjoy this milestone in the growing movement.
“We won a battle, but we are still in a war, so lets go celebrate!” Landis said to a cheering crowd.
The protest is expected to officially come to an end on Thursday.
Stay with TransportationNation.com for the latest on this developing story.
Photo courtesy of Greg Anderson