Freight Stakeholders Coalition Letter to House and Senate Transportation Bill Conferees | U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Freight Stakeholders Coalition Letter to House and Senate Transportation Bill Conferees

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 8:00pm

May 23, 2012

House and Senate Conferees on Surface Transportation Authorization

Dear Conferees:

We write to you today to ask your support for a national freight program and policy in the
surface transportation authorization bill. The Freight Stakeholders Coalition is a longstanding
group of the country’s largest shippers and public and private transportation providers. The
Coalition represents America’s diverse freight community and firmly believes it is vital for
surface transportation reauthorization to contain a national freight program and supporting
funding. We are unified in our conviction that substantial investment in the nation’s freight
transportation system must be given a high priority in this authorization.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s annual “GDP by Industry Report”, the
manufacturing industry has grown by $337 billion since 2009, as the agriculture and mining
industries have grown by $110 billion. These goods-producing industries are heavily reliant on
our nation’s freight system and now outweigh our construction and real estate industries. They
also positively impact our nation’s export growth, which is up from $1.58 trillion in 2009 to $2.09
trillion. In 2008 American exports accounted for 12.8 percent of GDP – today our exports
account for 13.9 percent, which is the highest ever measured.

At the same time, goods coming in to ports for sale in the United States significantly support
jobs and economic growth within our country’s border. A national freight policy would help
facilitate important wholesale and retail freight and allow the United States to continue to be a
leader in two-way trade. Total freight tonnage is expected to increase by 21 percent between
2011 and 2023. Without the ability to quickly and cost-effectively move goods into, out of and
through the United States, America will not be able to maintain our standard of living and high
employment levels.

The attached Freight Stakeholders Coalition ten-point platform addresses freight mobility
through a comprehensive program focused on policy, planning and funding. Many of these
recommendations have parallels in the bill language currently under consideration by the
conference committee, particularly the language included in Title I Section 1115 of S. 1813
which establishes a National Freight Program and provides $2 billion per year in funding by
formula to states specifically to address freight connectivity issues.

Now more than ever, the needs of our goods movement network must be addressed as system
use continues to grow in lockstep with America’s recovering economy. The inclusion of a
national freight plan with supporting policies, strategy and funding will help ensure America’s
international competitiveness, create jobs and bolster the U.S. economic recovery.

Thank you for your consideration of these important issues.

Sincerely,

Kevin M. Burke
President & CEO
American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)

Kurt J. Nagle
President and CEO
American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)

Linda Bauer Darr
President & CEO
American Moving & Storage Association

Bill Graves
President & CEO
American Trucking Associations

Edward R. Hamberger
President and CEO
Association of American Railroads

Leslie Blakey
Executive Director
Coalition for America’s Gateways & Trade Corridors

Rick Blasgen
President & CEO
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals

Sara Mayes
President
Fashion Accessories Shippers Association (FASA)

Joanne F. Casey
President and CEO
Intermodal Association of North America

Fred Abousleman
Executive Director
National Association of Regional Councils

Charles T. "Chuck" Carroll, Jr.
Executive Director
National Association of Waterfront Employers

Bruce J. Carlton
President and CEO
The National Industrial Transportation League

Matthew Shay
President and CEO
National Retail Federation

Sandra L. Kennedy
President
Retail Industry Leaders Association

Michele Marini Pittenger
President
Travel Goods Association (TGA)

R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Robin Lanier
Executive Director
Waterfront Coalition

Christopher L. Koch
President & CEO
World Shipping Council

Attachment: Freight Stakeholders Platform