The Hill - Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the launch of the Freight Policy Council on Thursday in Seattle.
The Freight Policy Council will develop a national plan for improving the efficiency of freight movement and encourage states to develop a freight strategy.
“Our freight system is the lifeblood of the American economy, moving goods quickly and efficiently to benefit both businesses and consumers across the country,” LaHood said Thursday. “With the launch of the Freight Policy Council, we have an opportunity to make not only our freight system, but all modes of transportation, stronger and better connected.”
A transportation bill signed by President Obama last month established a national freight policy and called for the creation of a National Freight Strategic Plan. DOT’s Freight Policy Council will implement the key freight provisions of the legislation.
Cantwell said an updated freight system would help grow the economy — not just of Washington state, but the nation.
“With increasing competition abroad, Washington businesses require a 21st century approach to moving goods,” Cantwell said. “This new Freight Policy Council provides the roadmap our nation needs to stay competitive and grow our trade economy. Smart freight planning is especially important to Washington state, where more than one million jobs are in freight-dependent industries.”
Cantwell said a more efficient freight network would reduce traffic congestion, environmental footprint and shipping costs, leading to lower prices for consumers.
As one of the most beautiful states in the union–and one of the richest in natural resources–Washington has a special interest in energy and environmental policy. And Maria has fought hard to uphold the state’s conservation tradition, while also working to bring our energy policy into the 21st century.
Maria knows Washington’s business community – because, as an executive at an innovative software company, she was part of it. And as a Senator, she’s led the way in helping businesses large and small throughout Washington grow, thrive, and create jobs.
Maria has taken a leadership role on safety and security issues, including defending our borders, strengthening our military, cracking down on gangs, and taking on drug crime in Washington communities.
Middle-class families around Washington and across the country are facing tough times–and tough decisions about balancing the family checkbook each month. Maria has fought to strengthen the economic security of Washington families and cut taxes for middle-class families.