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Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao

Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao

The Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO looks forward to working with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who was confirmed today by the U.S. Senate to be the 18th person to head the department.

“The confirmation of Elaine Chao as our nation’s next Secretary of Transportation is fantastic news for the maritime industry,” stated MTD President Michael Sacco.

“Secretary Chao is a longtime backer of the U.S. Merchant Marine. I am confident she will continue to be a most effective advocate for the men and women who work throughout the various components of the American transportation industry,” he added.

Chao returns to the Department of Transportation where she served as its deputy secretary during the term of President George H.W. Bush. She became the first woman of Asian descent to serve in a president’s cabinet when she became Secretary of Labor for President George W. Bush. In addition, she has been the chair of the Federal Maritime Commission and Deputy U.S. Maritime Administrator.

During her January 11 confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, she declared, “The Jones Act is a very important program that secure national security.”