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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Commerce department forms supply chain advisory committee


On Friday, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the launch of the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness.

Committee members include 40 senior-level, private-sector representatives from multiple industries and supply chain experts appointed by the U.S. commerce secretary. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson will serve as non-voting members.

The committee will advise the Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation and other federal agencies on supply chain issues that affect the international competitiveness of U.S. businesses. The committee's advice will help develop a national freight policy and play a role in executing President Obama's initiative that aims to double U.S. exports by 2014's end, Department of Commerce officials said in a prepared statement.

The first committee meeting will be held Oct. 19 at the department's headquarters.

"The Obama administration recognizes that in order to be competitive in today's global economy, American manufacturers need to be able to move products and goods securely, quickly and efficiently within our borders and beyond," said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. "The [committee] will provide crucial input on issues related to national freight infrastructure and policies so that we can best support millions of U.S. businesses export goods, compete domestically and globally, and support American jobs."

Committee members include Leslie Blakey, president and chief executive officer of the Coalition for America's Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC); W. Scott Brotemarkle, director of transportation policy and program development organization for the American Association of Port Authorities; Wayme Darbeau, president and CEO of the Port of San Diego; Rick Gabrielson, director of international transportation for Target Corp.; Lance Grenzeback, senior vice president for Cambridge Systematics Inc.; Ricky Kunz, VP of originations for the Port of Houston Authority; Daniel Rowley, general counsel for General Electric Co.'s home and business solutions unit; Cynthia Ruiz, deputy executive director of external relations for the Port of Los Angeles; Norman Schenk, VP of global customs policy and public affairs for UPS; Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition; Dean Wise, VP of network strategy for BNSF Railway Co.; and Peter Zantal, general manager of strategic analysis and industry relations for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

CAGTC's Blakey commended the Department of Commerce for developing the committee.

"Commerce and freight infrastructure are inherently linked, with our nation's economic vitality relying on a goods movement network that is often taken for granted," said Blakey.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/15/2012