FMC Extends Fact Finding Investigation
The Federal Maritime Commission has extended the Fact Finding Investigation No. 25 - Practices of Transpacific Stabilization Agreement Members Covering the 2002-2003 Service Contract Season. Continuation of the Fact Finding Investigation will enable the Commission to collect additional information with respect to possible violations of section 10 of the Shipping Act of 1984, 46 U.S.C. app. § 1709, by the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (“TSA”) and its member lines, as well as to continue to pursue other issues revealed in connection with this Fact Finding Investigation.
A cornerstone of the Shipping Act, as amended by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, is to foster growth and competition in ocean transportation through a greater reliance on the marketplace. The Commission is mindful that the trade served by the TSA and related “bridging” agreements is the largest U.S. trade, of growing importance, and has a correspondingly significant impact on U.S. economic security. The TSA and related bridging agreements possess substantial market power, with the potential to affect both pricing of services and competition in these trades.
In light of information and issues which have emerged in the course of the Fact Finding Investigation, the Commission is requiring TSA and its member lines to furnish certain information and documents relating to their activities in the inbound transpacific trades, pursuant to section 15 of the Shipping Act, 46 U.S.C. app. § 1714. Information and documents are also being sought, pursuant to section 15, from TSA and related bridging agreements and their member lines on their activities in the inbound trades from Asia and the Indian subcontinent to the United States.