Statement by Commissioner Bentzel on the Foundation Carrier Agreement (No. 201351)
Today, I voted to support the FMC staff recommendation to allow the Foundation Carrier Agreement to go into effect on December 13th. While I am a strong supporter of the implementation of digital technology that will facilitate the employment of blockchain platforms to assist the movement of our international trade, I do have potential concerns with this agreement and will be tracking its implementation closely. The objectives of harnessing digital technology and blockchain access could create efficiencies, but they could also be used competitively to erect barriers and make restrictions for financial competitive purposes.
I want to make sure this technology (or any technology) will not be used as a competitive barrier to enter markets, but rather be utilized and integrated by network stakeholders that will evolve into a more efficient, secure, and seamless supply chain. Additionally, I believe there must be a strong commitment moving forward to open architecture and full transparency to licensing and fee requirements.
I have communicated these concerns to the members of the Foundation Carrier Agreement and appreciate their quick and thoughtful response. I look forward to working with them and all the network stakeholders as we take a measured approach on integrating technology into the supply chain.
Finally, I would recommend that we take some time in the coming year to bring stakeholders together so that we can discuss the various platforms and how they interface so that we have a collective vision of how this technology can work in unison and serve all network stakeholders, rather than evaluate platforms one agreement at a time. A measured approach will enable a competitive balance which is what we are all striving for.
Carl W. Bentzel is a Commissioner with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. The thoughts and comments expressed here are his own and do not necessarily represent the position of the Commission.