Statement of Commissioner Daniel Maffei Hearings on the Petition of the Coalition for Fair Port Practices
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is good to see all of you. I do want to thank all of the witnesses for taking time out of your busy schedules to be here today. We have many, many distinguished witnesses, starting with this first panel. I’m just thrilled that so many of you traveled and I think it is very, very important to be here in person and to discuss these issues in such an open forum. I know I join Commissioner Dye and the Chairman and all of our staff when I say we really appreciate the enthusiastic response we received when these Commission hearings were announced. I look forward to hearing what everybody has to say and getting answers to many questions.
From the outset, I have been a huge proponent of holding hearings as the next step in the Commission’s consideration of this important petition. Hearings are the ideal forum to encourage an open and transparent discussion about what is clearly a challenging and complex issue. I also believe that the hearings are important in and of themselves since, if nothing else, they will allow us to see if there is common ground among the parties. It is my hope that whatever the outcome of the petition, the Commission’s involvement will act as a catalyst to help resolve difficult issues facing the industry. I am thrilled that the Commission moved forward so quickly with organizing and holding these hearings. I particularly want to thank Commissioner Dye, former Commissioners Doyle and Cordero, and of course you, Mr. Chairman, for expediting these hearings and making sure that the Federal Maritime Commission is not seen as bureaucratic or sweeping any issues under the rug, but instead as an agency that is going to consider issues that arise as quickly as we possibly can.
Finally, I would like to take a moment to thank the staff here at the Federal Maritime Commission for all of the hard work they have already done towards the petition’s consideration. We would not be able to hold these hearings without their hard work and dedication. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.