President-elect Trump has named Elaine Chao as the new Secretary of Transportation. Ms. Chao served as Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush for 8 years, as well as Deputy Secretary of Transportation in President H.W. Bush’s Administration.
She is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and has the full support of the Transportation industry going forward.
Ms. Chao is a Harvard Business School graduate, has worked for Citibank and was formerly President and CEO of the United Way.
President-elect Trump has proposed a massive $1 Trillion dollar infrastructure-spending bill to rebuild America’s aging and sometimes crumbling highways and bridges. “Chao’s extensive record of strong leadership and her expertise are invaluable assets in our mission to rebuild our infrastructure in a fiscally responsible manner,” Trump remarked on November 29.
Still subject to confirmation by the Senate, Ms. Chao will assume an array of record safety recalls, including 50 million air bag related vehicle recalls in the automotive industry as well as the growing state of urgency to regulate the development of self-driving cars and trucks.
The newly appointed Secretary will also face an industry-wide outcry to reduce and update the number of regulations and restrictions facing Transportation professionals in the United States today. Hopes run high that Trump will slow down and perhaps reverse some of the Obama Administration’s rules related to commercial truck drivers’ schedules.
Ms. Chao said that Trump has a plan to “transform our country’s infrastructure, accelerate economic growth and productivity and create good-paying jobs across the country.”
President of the Truckload Carriers’ Association John Lyboldt is optimistic about the impact Chao will have on the Trucking industry. Ms. Chao has experience related to trucking related issues and has extensive knowledge about how the legislative process works as former Secretary of Labor.
We will be keeping a close eye on future developments regarding Secretary-elect Chao and the Department of Transportation. Hopefully the much-needed changes that have been heard and seen in recent years will be addressed in a timely and efficient manner.
References: Transport Topics, Week of December 5, 2016
The Wall Street Journal, Michael C. Bender, November 29, 2016