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Export Import Bank Annual Conference

Secretary LaHood

Remarks as prepared for delivery

Export Import Bank Annual Conference
Conversation with Chairman Hochberg
Washington DC
April 5, 2013

DOT promoting safety in other parts of the world

  • We often support our foreign partners in developing their transportation infrastructure. We share what we’ve learned, like best practices and advanced American technologies.
  • For example, under our Safe Skies for Africa Program, which is funded by the State Department, we provide technical assistance to help our partners in several African countries improve aviation safety, security, and air navigation. These programs help our African aviation colleagues build, operate and maintain the aviation safety infrastructure they need to participate in the global economy.
  • DOT also has active technical teams in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are working with local partners to rebuild their transportation systems and to set up the institutions necessary to sustain them. Our work includes aviation, rail, highways and ports.
  • We will soon partner with the State Department to provide technical support for transportation infrastructure in Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
  • By working with our counterparts on safety and efficiency, we are ensuring that that our products and people get to their destinations and markets.

High-Speed Rail Funding Under President Obama

  • $12 Billion in invested in HSR since 2009
    • $4.2 billion in California
    • $3.7 billion in the Northeast Region
    • $2.5 billion in the Midwest
    • $814 million in the Pacific Northwest
    • $700 million in the Southeast


  • At DOT, we’ve taken the lead on improving our nation’s freight movement—because we know that in order to compete in a global economy, you need to get goods from ship to train to truck quickly and efficiently.
  • This summer, we created our internal Freight Policy Council to help us develop a national plan for improving freight movement and to meet President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015. 
  • As part of our efforts to improve freight movement, we’re working to designate a National Freight Network for our roadways – a network of priority roads most critical for people and businesses moving freight.
  • And we’re working to propose measures to track our progress as a nation. This will help us understand how our transportation systems are performing and help guide where we make future investments.
  • We are also forming a National Freight Advisory Committee to help us improve the way we move goods.

Creating opportunities for U.S. exporters in other countries

  • By sharing our technical expertise with other nations, we not only help them to be safer, we indirectly showcase the best of U.S. technology. This is especially true when it comes to transportation goods, like planes and cars.
  • Transportation products are among our nation’s strongest exports.
  • In 2012, U.S. exports of civilian aircraft were up by more than one-third from the previous year.
  • In 2012, U.S. exports of automotive vehicles and parts were up by more than 10 percent from the previous year.

Supporting President Obama’s Export Goals

  • At DOT, we have focused much of our efforts on key National Export Initiative priority markets: China, Brazil and India.
  • We have created a yearly Transportation Forum with China, during which U.S. companies have an opportunity to participate—and to contribute their insights and solutions to the transportation problems we face.  And right now, we are working to set up similar partnerships with Brazil and India.
  • Around the world, we are working with countries to harmonize transportation standards and regulations across the modes of transportation. This helps to ensure that U.S. exporters, such as auto manufacturers, are not locked out of markets because of incompatible host country standards or rules.
  • When it comes to the latest technologies, we are also sharing our experiences with Intelligent Transportation Systems. This is an area where the U.S. industry has a lot to offer.   

Open Skies

  • At the Department of Transportation, we’ve worked hard to open up new markets abroad for U.S. carriers and consumers. I’m proud to report that we have increased the number of U.S. Open Skies partners from 94 to 110 over the last four years.
  • This is great news. Our success at opening new markets around the globe has generated jobs and economic growth here at home while also expanding opportunities exporters.
  • When the airlines do well, we all benefit. The people who work in the industry have more secure jobs.  And the industry is better able to invest in the future—buying new planes and working to improve the flying experience for travelers. 
  • All of this means we are better prepared to compete with the rest of the world.


  • We are all committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is the wrong way to achieve the right objective.
  • We have strongly objected on legal and policy grounds to the EU’s application of the ETS on our airlines.  Virtually all of the other non-EU countries in the international aviation community share these concerns.
  • On November 12, the European Union announced that they would “stop the clock” for one year on the implementation of the ETS as it pertains to international aviation—allowing global efforts to reduce aviation emissions to continue. 
  • It is my hope that we will continue to make progress on aviation emissions and that the EU will permanently suspend ETS as it pertains to international aviation.  
Updated: Wednesday, January 7, 2015
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