Keep Property Broker Bonds Reasonable
United States Congress & the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA")
Association of Independent Property Brokers & Agents ("AIPBA")
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This is a PETITION to the United States Congress & FMCSA from and by the members of the Transportation Industry listed below, representing various constituencies including, but not limited to, shippers, motor carriers, industry suppliers, small and mid-sized property brokers, property broker agents, freight-forwarders, and owner-operators who supply America and serve the American consumer.
WHEREAS, a bill was introduced in the United States Senate (S. 3483) in June 2010 called the "Motor Carrier Protection Act of 2010" at the request of the Owner Operator Independent Driver Association ("OOIDA") and with the support of the Transportation Intermediaries Association ("TIA") which would, among other things, raise the property broker bond from $10,000 to $100,000; and
WHEREAS, the supporters of this bill purport that this would fight fraud in the industry and protect small owner-operator business owners; and
WHEREAS, we agree with the Association of Independent Property Brokers & Agents ("AIPBA") prediction that a $100,000 bond would actually have the opposite effect; would put thousands of small brokerage businesses out-of-business and thereby enable big brokerages to unfairly take control of the market, charge shippers (and in essence consumers) more, and pay owner-operators and motor carriers less; and
WHEREAS, AIPBA has exposed the specious, selfish and manipulative motives behind the ongoing lobbying effort in favor of a $100,000 bond; that the argument in favor of a $100,000 bond is not really about fighting fraud but about eliminating competition among brokers and creating an oligopoly for big brokerages under the guise of fighting fraud; and
WHEREAS, the states of Illinois, Virginia and Florida all require property and/or household goods brokers who operate in intrastate transportation to post a $25,000 bond or less; and
WHEREAS, the FMCSA has finalized a rule that takes effect on January 1, 2012 that raises the bond for household goods brokers from $10,000 to $25,000 merely to adjust for inflation;
NOW, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that we, the members of the Transportation Industry respectfully ask the United States Congress to tread lightly when considering drastic statutory changes in brokers' mandatory financial security, defer to the FMCSA in this instance, and recognize that the FMCSA has the expertise necessary to make reasonable bond amount judgments; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we respectfully ask the FMCSA to continue to keep the anti-competitive impact in mind when setting future property broker bond amounts; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that a copy of this PETITION be filed with the Senate and House Transportation Committees, the FMCSA, and trucking media.