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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

AAR, Class Is urge Congress to pass new North American trade pact


The Association of American Railroads (AAR) and its Class I members are calling on Congress to pass the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) "expeditiously."

The letter — sent by AAR, BNSF Railway Co., Canadian Pacific, CN, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad — urges Congress to approve the USMCA to harness the North American trading relationship's full potential.

Freight railroads, which supported efforts to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, believe that the USMCA includes "essential provisions related to e-commerce and digital trade, both of which help drive intermodal rail shipments," the letter stated.

"Rail movements associated with North American free trade include countless commodities and every region of the country," railroad executives wrote. "This includes imports and exports of automotive products between factories in dozens of U.S. states, Canada and Mexico and nearly $43 billion worth of agricultural goods."

International trade accounts for at least 35 percent of U.S. freight-rail revenue, 27 percent of rail tonnage and 42 percent of carloads and intermodal units, they noted.

"The freight railroads and our customers require certainty to continue making investments that will support and grow seamless commerce between our country and two of our largest trading partners," the letter stated.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/28/2019