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CHAIRMEN OF LARGEST U.S. CARRIERS CALL FOR MARITIME LEGISLATION

 CHAIRMEN OF LARGEST U.S. CARRIERS CALL FOR MARITIME LEGISLATION
 WASHINGTON, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The chief executives of America's two largest container lines told a Senate hearing here today that the time has come to put into law a national maritime program.
 Praising the maritime proposal unveiled last week by Secretary of Transportation Andrew Card, John Snow, chairman and chief executive officer of CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX), and John Lillie, chairman and chief executive officer of American President Companies (NYSE: APS), told the Senate Merchant Marine Subcommittee that -- although they have some concerns about details of the plan -- the administration's program is a good start toward allowing the U.S.-flag merchant fleet to compete economically.
 American President Companies is the parent of American President Lines and CSX is the parent of Sea-Land Service.
 "Let us move forward together, full speed ahead, and enact legislation this year," they told the subcommittee.
 They repeated warnings that they had issued earlier this year that if current government policies continue there is no longer any economic justification for investing in U.S.-flag vessels.
 "Indeed," they noted, "the U.S.-flag shipping industry is in a state of orderly liquidation as current U.S. vessels reach the end of their useful life."
 Lillie and Snow said the administration's program "not only reaffirms the need for a strong U.S.-flag merchant fleet to serve American shippers and support our national defense, but provides the economic framework for maintaining a viable U.S.-flag container shipping fleet that is able to compete with foreign-flag carriers in the international marketplace."
 They told the subcommittee's chairman, John Breaux: "We absolutely must seize this moment, Mr. Chairman, and work to enact legislation this year. We're flexible as to precisely how this should be done. We're confident that there is a range of workable solutions and that building on Secretary Card's proposal is within that range. We pledge to do all that we can."
 While they said they support the bulk of the administration's program, they did add that they had questions and eagerly await legislation that will clarify certain aspects of the plan.
 They supported the proposal Card made for liberalizing the Capital Construction Fund but said they were troubled by possible limitations on the purchase of foreign-built ships.
 They praised the administration's acknowledgement that the 50 percent ad valorem duty on foreign ship repairs has not worked, but said the proposal to phase out this duty and a proposed Treasury Department study of tax policy on foreign-source income should both be given a short-term deadline.
 Lillie and Snow suggested as well that the Contingency Retainer Program proposed by Card be extended from seven to 10 years "to justify the tremendous financial investments required."
 Snow and Lillie asked as well for a clearer definition of the criteria required for a ship to come under the Contingency Retainer Program and more information on what led the administration to specify 74 as the number of vessels that would be included in the program.
 They said they were "concerned about vague promises" to speed up efforts to bring U.S. vessel standards into conformity with international requirements. Lillie and Snow called upon Congress to set a deadline by which U.S. and foreign-flag vessels calling at American ports are given equal treatment, allowing American flag ships to sail under the same standards as their competitors.
 /delval/
 -0- 6/25/92
 /CONTACT: Thomas E. Hoppin of CSX, 804-782-1400, or Gil Roeder of American President Companies, 510-272-7702/
 (CSX APS) CO: CSX Corporation; American President Companies ST: Virginia, California IN: TRN SU: LEG


LJ -- PH024 -- 3762 06/25/92 12:16 EDT
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Date:Jun 25, 1992
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