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MTD President Michael Sacco welcomed the nomination of Elaine Chao to be the Secretary of Transportation under the incoming Trump Administration as someone who ‘has stood up to defend the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Program, cargo preference and the other key programs that keep our industry alive.”

President-elect Trump announced Chao on November 29. She became the first American woman of Asian descent to serve as a member of a president’s cabinet as the Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush. Prior to that, she was the Deputy Secretary of Transportation during the term of President George H. W. Bush.

(Several federal agencies dealing with the U.S.-flag maritime industry, including the Maritime Administration, come under the auspices of the Department of Transportation.)

Sacco noted the positive relationship Chao has had with maritime unions through the years: “Elaine Chao has long been a steadfast friend to maritime labor.”

Her maritime experiences include serving as the Deputy U.S. Maritime Administrator and Chair of the Federal Maritime Commission. She also has been the Director of the Peace Corps and President and CEO of the United Way of America.

“The President-elect has outlined a clear vision to transform our country’s infrastructure, accelerate economic growth and productivity, and create good-paying jobs across the country,” Chao said. “I am honored to be nominated by the President-elect to serve my beloved country as Transportation Secretary.”

Born in Taiwan, Chao immigrated to America at the age of 8. She became a U.S. citizen when she was 19. She earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an economics degree from Mount Holyoke College.

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