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US House Transportation chairman opposes CP Rail-Norfolk Southern merger
HOUSTON, April 6, 2016 (PCW) -- The chairman of the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has come out against Canadian Pacific’s proposed railroad merger with Norfolk Southern, dealing another blow to the likelihood of a deal.
“I do not believe it is in the best interests of the US freight transportation system, railroad employees, rail shippers and the short line railroads,” Representative Bill Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican, said in a statement.
A number of Democratic lawmakers in Congress, including all of the party’s representatives from Illinois and Pennsylvania, have spoken out against a merger. However, the opposition from committee chair Shuster, a Republican, could resonate with the US Surface Transportation Board. The Surface Transportation Board has said it would not approve a major railroad merger it deems not in the public interest.
Shuster noted that CP Rail had actively pursued some sort of merger in the US since 2014, which he said "has done nothing but create uncertainty in the rail industry."
CP, which is Canada’s second-largest railroad, disclosed in mid-November a $28 billion offer for Norfolk Southern. The Calgary-based company has said a merger would result in savings of more than $1.8 billion annually. Virginia-based Norfolk Southern has rebuffed those advances. -- Donna Todd