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Commissioner Dye Addresses Agricultural Transportation Coalition Annual Meeting

June 8, 2017

Commissioner Rebecca Dye told a group of shippers attending the Agricultural Transportation Coalition (AgTC) Annual Meeting in Long Beach, California that the second phase of the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) Supply Chain Innovation Teams she leads will launch in July and focus on the issues and challenges exporters face.

She also spoke of her long commitment to deregulating the shipping industry, encouraging members of the audience to provide comments to the FMC in response to the Notice of Inquiry issued earlier this month. Finally, Commissioner Dye forewarned that an ocean transportation marketplace where carrier alliances are prohibited is not in the best interests of shippers or competition.

The three Export Supply Chain Teams she has assembled will meet for the first time in Washington, D.C. on July 11 where they will discuss the reliability and resilience of the system that supports the flow of American goods to international markets with a particular emphasis on how to achieve greater supply chain visibility.

"The international supply chain is actually a complex ‘system’ that requires awareness and cooperation from everyone involved to maximize efficiency. Information infrastructure will improve the performance of our country’s supply chain and is key to American competitiveness. I am certain our export teams will make an important contribution toward those important objectives," said Dye.

Commissioner Dye spoke to how she views carrier alliance consolidation, saying, "The FMC is neither pro-alliance nor anti-alliance. We are pro competition," noting that alliance consolidation does not increase market concentration.

"Market concentration is what concerns competition enforcement agencies such as the Federal Maritime Commission and concentration takes place when rival sellers are eliminated in the market," noted Commissioner Dye. "Even if the alliances disband today, it is unlikely that the market would revert to the situation that existed before they formed. Compared to the two actual alternatives of mergers and bankruptcies, alliances maintain pricing and market competition."

Finally, Commissioner Dye noted that interested parties have until July 5, 2017 to provide comments to the Commission on which of its rules and regulations be changed or eliminated.

"My advice is to each of you is to ‘think big’. Make your best case for regulations that the FMC should eliminate or revise. You may find that the Commission welcomes your ideas and is willing to consider serious deregulation."