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FMC Requests Additional Information from Parties to the Port Fee Services Agreement

December 17, 2008

NR 08-19

CONTACT: Florence A. Carr, Director, Bureau of Trade Analysis (202) 523-5796

By a 2-1 vote, the Federal Maritime Commission today determined to request that the parties to Agreement No. 201199, the Port Fee Services Agreement, provide additional information pursuant to 46 U.S.C. § 40304(d). Given the rapidly changing economic circumstances and the recent pronouncement that the Port of Los Angeles will reevaluate certain aspects of the Clean Truck Program (including elements that the Port Fee Services Agreement would implement) the requested information and documentary material is needed for the Commission to accurately assess the likely competitive impact of the Agreement on transportation costs and services.

The Commission's request for additional information delays the effectiveness of the Port Fee Services Agreement until 45 days after the parties have submitted the requested information and documents. Accordingly, as the Port Fee Services Agreement is not yet effective, the Shipping Act prohibits the parties from implementing any program pursuant to the authorities contained in the agreement.

Commissioners Creel and Dye commented today that, given the significant changes in the Nation's economic situation, the Commission must continue to fulfill its statutory obligations to ensure that the agreement will not unreasonably reduce competition in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Such reduction would raise prices at a time when the American consumer can least afford any added costs, and at a time when Independent Owner Operators can least afford to be driven out of the port drayage market. Through a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the Ports' programs, the Federal Maritime Commission is working to ensure that our foreign trades operate free from substantially anticompetitive activities.

Press Contact: Karen V. Gregory (202) 523-5725; e-mail: secretary@fmc.gov