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Chairman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN)
Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation
Hearing on Perspectives from Users of the Nation’s Freight System
October 1, 2013
(Remarks as Prepared)
Good afternoon and welcome to this hearing before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation. This special panel was created by Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member Rahall of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to examine the current state of freight transportation in the United States and how improving freight transportation can strengthen the United States economy.
As I have said before, the purpose of this Panel is to provide recommendations to the Committee on ways to modernize the freight network and make the United States competitive in the 21st Century. We have been working hard towards this goal, and we plan to issue our report to the Full Committee by the end of the month.
The purpose of today’s hearing is to hear from those who are actually producing and growing the goods that are shipped on the Nation’s freight transportation system.
The manufacturing and agriculture industries represent almost one-fifth of the Nation’s annual gross domestic product. Both of these industries rely on a highly functioning, efficient, and safe freight transportation network. For manufacturing and agriculture businesses to be successful and remain competitive with international competitors, we must maintain and improve our infrastructure to keep pace with growth in these sectors.
I am glad that we have this opportunity to discuss the specific freight transportation needs of the manufacturing and agriculture industries. We have an excellent panel of witnesses before us, today. I am confident that they will be able to help us understand the unique freight transportation challenges facing urban areas and how those issues impact the rest of the Nation.
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