Monday, March 30, 2009
Signing the agreement, Secretary LaHood said that both nations' industries - including manufacturing, agriculture, and medical research - need regular access to certain types of dangerous materials to conduct business.
"Chinese businesses ship billions of dollars worth of trade goods around the world each year, including to the United States," said Secretary LaHood. "We are eager to work together to make sure these items are transported safely. And I look forward to participating in this important mission."
Following a joint Transportation Forum held in Beijing last December to address transportation issues including safety, the agreement was shaped to help ensure the safe transport of materials across all modes of transportation - from seaports and aviation to rail and highway.
The U.S.-China Cooperative Project Arrangement on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods enables the countries to:
- Develop and strengthen avenues of communication concerning the safe transport of dangerous goods;
- Exchange and cooperate in the development of technical information to support regulatory development;
- Improve harmonization and increase safety by implementing international regulations developed by international forums;
- Cooperate on enforcement and investigative actions to improve dangerous goods transport safety, to include exchange of incident and violation data; and
- Organize training activities to strengthen the capabilities of managerial and technical personnel.
As both nations invest billions of dollars in transportation infrastructure through economic stimulus plans, Secretary LaHood noted that the Dangerous Goods agreement is a step forward on improving transportation's role in fostering a healthy climate for commerce and economic growth, while creating good jobs for both U.S. and Chinese citizens.
The signing took place at the U.S. Department of Transportation. The next Transportation Forum between the two nations will be held at the end of this year in Washington, D.C.