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U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) made it official yesterday: He is opposed to Canadian Pacific's proposal to take over Norfolk Southern Railway.
Shuster, who indicated in a media interview earlier this year that he was leaning against the proposed merger, released a statement yesterday that said he believed a combined CP-NS would not be in the best interests of the nation's freight transportation system, railroad employees, shippers or short lines.In the statement, Shuster noted CP has been trying to merge with another Class I since 2014, when the Canadian railroad first reached out to CSX. The CSX discussions did not advance, and NS has since rejected all three of CP's proposals to merge."CP's pursuit of a merger over the last two years has done nothing but create uncertainty in the rail industry, and there continues to be no clear path forward for such an arrangement," Shuster said. "I have expressed my concerns to the appropriate federal agency, and I believe it is time for all parties to move on from hypothetical merger proposals and focus on improving the transportation of goods and products to help grow the American economy."CP last week field with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission a shareholder resolution asking NS' board to engage in "good faith discussions" regarding CP's proposed merger with NS. NS Chief Executive Officer Jim Squires has encouraged shareholders to reject CP's resolution.NS will hold its annual meeting May 12.
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