2015 TIA Policy Forum Recap

Last week, Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) held its annual 3PL Policy Forum and Fly-in. This important event continues to get better every year. TIA scheduled for our members to meet with their personal House Members and U.S. Senators to discuss issues of importance to their business and TIA. These meetings were added to the schedule this year based on feedback from previous years, and they were a huge success!

In 2015, there was record attendance, with 55 members coming to Washington, D.C. from across the United States, and a record number of meetings held with Congressional offices, as TIA staff was able to connect our membership with 116 Members of Congress and their staff. The message at every one of those meetings was simple, please support our CSA and liability reform legislation (H.R. 1120 & S. 1454).

The Policy Forum began on Wednesday afternoon with a briefing from TIA Government Affairs staff to prepare members with handouts and details for their meetings with Congressional Members. Following the briefing, the group heard from Mr. Jonathan Gold and Ms. Beth Provenzano from the National Retail Federation about the latest developments on the port labor disputes and patent trolls.

Mr. Gold touched on the latest legislation that would allow State Governors to intervene in port labor disputes. On Friday, June 5, Senators Gardner (R-CO) and Alexander (R-TN) introduced the Protecting Orderly and Responsible Transit of Shipments (PORTS) Act. The legislation would discourage disruptions at U.S. seaports and incentivize speedy resolution of disputes by strengthening and expanding the wellknown Taft Hartley process, which is already applicable to ports, and includes 70 years of case law.

Ms. Provenzano touched on legislation introduced in Congress that would relieve some of the current traps set by patent trolls. Specifically a section of the bill would protect end-users by allowing them to delay lawsuits against them until similar litigation against a manufacturer has ended. To highlight the need for the change, many have used the example of lawsuits filed against retailers who provide Wi-Fi to customers, because the technology is purported to violate a patent.

The group also heard from Mr. Rich Clemente from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) about the current and future regulatory rulemakings coming down the pipe from the Agency. Specifically, Mr. Clemente addressed:

  • Electronic Logging Devices
  • Prohibition of Coercion
  • Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
  • Minimum insurance requirements for motor carriers
  • CSA

Finally, Ms. Allison Cullin of the Senate Commerce Committee gave an insider’s view into the upcoming CSA reform bill currently being drafted by her committee. Additionally, Ms. Cullin touched on the TIA supported S. 1454, and looked forward to working with TIA staff to get this language into a transportation reauthorization bill.

Wednesday concluded with a great evening reception that included remarks by Senator Roy Blunt (RMO), one of the lead sponsors of S. 1454, and a dinner with Congressman Jeff Denham (R-CA/10th) who is a close friend of the transportation industry.

On Thursday, TIA members stormed the hill and met with House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Members and Senate Commerce Committee Members. TIA members left a huge footprint by advocating for our legislative language and the importance of the brokerage industry. We cannot stress enough how important it is for TIA members to travel to Washington, D.C. to tell their story. Nothing resonates more with a Member of Congress and their staff than hearing from the people who live and vote in their district.

On behalf of the TIA staff, we would like to personally thank each and every one of you who attended the 2015 Policy Forum and Fly-in.

We look forward to more members joining us, and helping us break our record number of attendees in 2016!

TIA Government Affairs Staff