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House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) is leaning toward opposing a proposed merger between Canadian Pacific and Norfolk Southern Corp., a Pennsylvania newspaper reported this morning.
After touring Norfolk Southern Railway's Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona yesterday, Shuster said he was keeping an open mind but was currently leaning toward "no," the Altoona Mirror reported. "Because it's a Canadian company, and if they happen to take over [Norfolk Southern], it would continue to be a Canadian company. But I want to hear all sides," the newspaper quoted Shuster as saying.In addition to taking the tour, Shuster met with management and labor leaders to discuss the potential implications of a CP-NS merger. Until yesterday, he has not made strong statements in favor of or opposed to the acquisition, the newspaper reported.Although Shuster would not have a final say over federal approval of the merger, as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee he could call for public hearings."We're taking a wait-and-see attitude. If we think we need to hold hearings, we'll hold hearings," he said, according to the Altoona Mirror.Canadian Pacific has made three acquisition offers to NS, which has rejected each one. On Tuesday, CP announced it will ask the Surface Transportation Board to issue a declaratory order confirming the viability of a voting trust structure that the railroad has called for as part of its proposed takeover of NS.