Simpson takes IECC post

Simpson takes IECC post

John Simpson, the former president of the American Association of Exporters and Importers, has taken a new position as managing director of the International Express Couriers Conference (IECC) based in Brussels.

Simpson will begin his duties Oct. 1. IECC has only four members: FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service, TNT of The Netherlands and DHL Worldwide, a unit of German post and logistics provide, Deutsche Post World Net.

"The size of the group allows it to focus closely on issues, Simpson said. "Our members have very clear ideas of what they need."

He said the office location gives IECC access to the World Customs Organization and the European Commission, both in Brussels. The World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris are a few hours away by rail or air.

"It's a good place for us to be at this particular stage. It's difficult to influence events in the U.S. government from inside the United States," Simpson said.

Simpson, a former Treasury official, has been a strong advocate for free trade, and against border-security regimes that could impair the free flow of commerce.

He said that IECC members may have a better opportunity to communicate their interests in international security through foreign governments.

"The Department of Homeland Security has not stopped listening to foreign governments," he said. "Communicating through them gets to be more effective."