Cantwell, Murray Introduce Bill to Modernize Freight Transportation System, Support WA's Robust Trade Economy
FREIGHT Act lays groundwork for strong economic growth and job creation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) joined Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) in introducing legislation that would establish America’s first comprehensive national freight transportation policy to support a growing trade economy. The FREIGHT (Focusing Resources, Economic Investment, and Guidance to Help Transportation) Act would ensure America’s global economic competitiveness by modernizing the nation’s freight transportation system to support the quick and cost-effective movement of goods. The FREIGHT Act is especially important to Washington state, which has one of the most robust export economies in the country.
“The safe and efficient movement of goods across our nation is critical for our businesses, especially for those in my home state of Washington,” said Senator Murray, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. “The FREIGHT Act will help bring us a national freight policy that will dramatically improve freight mobility in this country and increase the competitiveness of our businesses, reduce congestion, and provide a much-needed boost to job creation in our communities.”
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nine Washington state cities rank in the nation’s top 125 freight gateways handling international merchandise by air, land, and water, including Seattle, Tacoma, Blaine, Kalama, Vancouver, Bellingham, Anacortes, and Sumas. Provisions of the FREIGHT Act would help Washington state grow its robust trade economy by making investments to modernize and improve the efficiency of Washington’s intermodal freight network, which includes ports, freight railways, air cargo infrastructure, highways, and pipelines.
- Reduce delays of goods and commodities entering into and out of intermodal connectors that serve international points of entry on an annual basis.
- Increase travel time reliability on major freight corridors that connect major population centers with freight generators and international gateways on an annual basis.
- Reduce by 10 percent the number of freight transportation-related fatalities by 2015.
- Reduce national freight transportation-related carbon dioxide levels by 40 percent by 2030.
- Reduce freight transportation-related air, water, and noise pollution and impacts on ecosystems and communities on an annual basis.
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