Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, and David Vitter, R-La., ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, have introduced the Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act, which would eliminate railroads’ exemptions from U.S. antitrust laws.
“This legislation makes commonsense reforms that will require the railroad industry play by the same antitrust rules as other industries and will help keep costs down for businesses, farmers and consumers,” said Klobuchar in a written statement.
Steve Sharp, president of the Consumers United for Rail Equity, a coalition of shippers, praised the legislation. “The bill by Sens. Klobuchar and Vitter proposes appropriate and long-overdue action to better protect shippers and American consumers by placing the nation’s freight railroads on the same footing as their customers with respect to the nation’s antitrust law,” Sharp said in a written statement.
The Association of American Railroads decried the bill, charging that it could “undermine the industry’s ability to build, maintain and continuously upgrade the nation’s rail infrastructure without taxpayer assistance.”