U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

Baldwin Joins Bipartisan Group of Senators to Urge the Surface Transportation Board to Take Action to Increase Competition and Ensure Fair Treatment for Shippers

Substantial consolidation in the railroad industry has put shippers at a disadvantage and led to a rapid increase in freight rail rates

By - Nov 4th, 2016 11:55 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined a bipartisan group of senators in urging the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to take action to increase competition and ensure fair treatment for shippers. Substantial consolidation in the railroad industry has put shippers at a disadvantage and led to a rapid increase in freight rail rates. In a letter to Chairman Elliott, led by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the senators called on the STB to reform outdated railroad rate procedures, allow competitive switching, and revoke certain commodity exemptions.

“Our economy demands a system where railroads as well as their customers can proposer. To achieve this balance, rail service must be fair, efficient, and cost effective, especially to captive shippers or those with access to only one rail service provider,” the senators wrote. “Where meaningful competition exists, the STB should let market forces play out. But because the railroads have certain exemptions from the antitrust laws, the STB must ensure rates are fair and stop anticompetitive behavior. We urge the Board to continue to advance reforms that will meet the needs of all stakeholders.”

The letter was signed by Baldwin and Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and David Vitter (R-LA).

A copy of the letter the lawmakers sent is available here.

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