Friday, December 2, 2016

Trump Selection of Chao as Transportation Secretary Welcomed by Freight and Logistics Lobbies

Established Political Operator Assuages Industry Doubts
Shipping News Feature
US – President Elect Trump’s announcement that he intends for seasoned Washington operator Elaine Chao to be his Transportation Secretary, as reported in this week’s appointments piece, has been met enthusiastically by US based members of the freight and logistics lobby who believe that she will be both a safe pair of hands for the industry and a good instigator for Trump’s proposed plan for major investment in America’s decaying infrastructure. A statement by the American Maritime Partnership (AMP) said:

“The AMP congratulates Secretary Elaine Chao for her nomination by President-elect Donald J. Trump to be the next US Secretary of Transportation. With vast experience across the maritime industry and prior service at the US Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, and Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), Secretary Chao understands the critical role our industry plays in advancing the nation's economic and national security."

In addition the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) President and CEO Chris Spear personally praised President-elect Donald Trump’s choice:

“I had the privilege of serving with and working closely with Secretary Chao during my time at the Department of Labor, and I am extremely pleased that she will be taking on this new challenge. President-elect Trump could not have picked a more qualified, experienced and dedicated individual to serve in this important role.

“From her experience as Deputy Transportation Secretary under President George H.W. Bush, Secretary Chao understands the issues we face as we try to keep America’s freight moving safely and efficiently. We are eager to support her as our country and our industry work to improve our roads and bridges, improve safety, and harness the potential that emerging technologies have to continue to move our country forward.”

The air cargo industry also responded positively with the industry trade organisation Airlines for America (A4A) saying:

“Elaine Chao is an outstanding pick to be the next Secretary of Transportation. She is a distinguished public servant and leader whose experience in transportation and labour issues, among others, as well as her political skills and the known ability to manage a large organisation, will serve the Trump Administration well.

“We look forward to working with her, and the DOT under her leadership, to usher in a new era of innovation, smarter regulation, and transformational reforms to modernise our nation’s antiquated ATC system that will ensure our infrastructure in the sky is ready to meet the demand on the ground.”

Elaine Chao is already the first American woman of Asian descent to be appointed to a President’s Cabinet in American history having served as the longest tenured Secretary of Labor since World War II, when she held the position from 2001-2009 as part of President George W. Bush’s administration, the only member of President Bush’s original cabinet to have served the entire eight years of his Administration.

Born in Taiwan, Chao’s father is the shipping magnate Dr. James Chao, who began his career as a merchant mariner and later founded Foremost Shipping. The family emigrated to America when his daughter Elaine was eight and her career spans the public, private and non-profit sectors, including as Director of the Peace Corps, where she established the first programmes in the newly liberated Baltic nations and the independent states of the former Soviet Union, before her periods as Deputy Secretary at the US Department of Transportation and Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission.

Photo: Chao is married to Mitch McConnell, the senior US Senator from Kentucky and the Senate Majority Leader with whom she is pictured here during a visit to Washington by Prince Charles.