FMC Meets with European Maritime Attaches
Federal Maritime Commission Acting Chairman Michael Khouri and three of his fellow commissioners hosted a delegation of Washington-based foreign diplomats who specialize in maritime matters where a broad array of shipping policy issues were discussed.
Almost 20 officials from 13 different embassies attended an event held in the commission’s hearing room last week. This group of attaches who handle maritime affairs for their respective nations is commonly referred to as the Cotton Club.
In addition to Acting Chairman Khouri, Commissioners Rebecca Dye, William Doyle, and Daniel Maffei also attended the meeting.
Acting Chairman Khouri opened the session by noting this is the 100th year of operation under the Shipping Act. “The commission enforces the Shipping Act and assures a competitive ocean transportation services marketplace for the benefit of the United States and American shippers,” said Khouri. “That noted, this is an international business and to make informed decisions, the Commission must be cognizant of what our counterparts at competition agencies in other major shipping states are doing.”
Topics covered at the meeting included a discussion of the commission’s history, jurisdiction, and mission; the commission’s Supply Chain Innovation Teams Initiative; the role and activities of the Cotton Club; business trends in the container shipping industry; international trade matters; and the global economic outlook.
“Because shipping is an international business, I appreciate these opportunities to get together with the embassy experts from our partner nations and discuss areas of common interest,” stated Commissioner Rebecca Dye. “In particular, it was valuable to me to discuss our Supply Chain Innovation Teams initiative and common concerns about port and supply chain efficiency.”
“Despite the talk of an uncertain future for international trade and cooperation, in reality we are becoming more interconnected than ever when it comes to maritime issues,” observed Commissioner Daniel Maffei. “We all face similar commercial and economic issues working in an industry that facilitates a globalized economy.”
Attaches present represented Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.