THE US Transport Secretary says air cargo must recover to meet President Obama’s export targets.
In his much-anticipated speech to the TIACA conference in Atlanta, Ray LaHood spoke on a wide range of issues including Obamas 2010 pledge to double US exports by 2015:
“In order to accomplish that goal,” LaHood told air cargo bosses. “We need a thriving air cargo industry to help America’s leading industries move their products to market quickly and efficiently.”
He also told delegates: “What’s good for air cargo is good for the US economy.”
Air cargo carries 31 per cent of the total value of US exports but has been hit hard by the recession.
In a speech broadly emphasising his department’s domestic track record he said millions of dollars in grants and cuts to red tape had been made to meet the president’s pledge.
In other parts of his address he spoke on safety and investment as well as recognizing customs and security “challenges” in air cargo.
In conclusion he told the Atlanta audience: “We at the (Transport) Department recognize how important the air cargo industry is to our economy.
“We are working hard to secure additional market openings for US cargo companies around the world.
“And we are continuing to help the cargo industry realize the full benefits of this market access around the globe… with key trading partners across the world, like China and Europe.”
While also talking about the millions of dollars of grants and aid to the freight industry LaHood did not pledge any new initiatives but he said he would cut more red tape to follow-up the open skies policy and give the US more cargo hubs.
He concluded by touching on a note of solidarity with the industry: “We recognize that real challenges and difficulties still exist for US cargo carriers around the world. We know that some foreign governments are still practicing protectionism in their markets to the detriment of many.
“We also realize there are real challenges on customs and cargo security issues abroad and here at home.
“We are committed to your industry—and we look forward to working with you to invest in an America built to last.”