Biden targets competition between rail and shipping -source
WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will order U.S. shipping agencies in the coming days to fight competition in rail and shipping to lower the costs of shipping goods for businesses, said Thursday to Reuters a source close to the plan. .
Biden’s decree, targeting the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and the Surface Transportation Board (STB), is also intended to ultimately help lower consumer prices, the source said.
The ordinance will ask the STB to consider long-standing measures to increase competition where the railway is monopolized, including the so-called “competitive switching rules” that require a monopoly railway to grant service. access to its railway under certain conditions.
He also urges FMC “to take all possible measures to protect US exporters from the high costs imposed by shipping carriers” and to “crack down on unfair and unreasonable charges, including detention and demurrage charges.”
Biden’s sweeping executive order regarding competition across the U.S. economy is expected to be released first on Friday and will push everything from making it easy for farmers to repair their own tractors to new rules forcing airlines to reimburse baggage fees for delayed baggage.
Reuters first announced the expected executive order last week, but the White House has continued to roll out additional proposals in recent days.
Transportation costs for shipping goods continued to skyrocket during the COVID-19 pandemic at a time of increasing consolidation in transportation markets.
The upcoming Executive Order “encourages independent federal agencies regulating these markets to take steps to promote competition – which will save US businesses money on shipping costs. This, in turn, will lower prices for US consumers, ”the source said.
Biden’s executive order will also cover other issues relating to non-compete agreements for workers, licensing requirements, defense contracts, cell phones, agriculture and antitrust enforcement.
Reporting by David Shepardson; written by Susan Heavey; Editing by Alex Richardson / Mark Heinrich / Kirsten Donovan
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