The US has signed a cooperative agreement with China to ensure the safe transport of hazardous materials across all modes of transportation – from seaports and aviation to rail and highway.

US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood joined China’s Minister of Transport Li Shenglin to sign the agreement, which is billed as a step forward in improving transportation’s role in fostering a healthy climate for commerce and economic growth, while creating good jobs for US and Chinese citizens.

LaHood said that both nations’ industries need regular access to certain types of dangerous materials to conduct business.

“Chinese businesses ship billions of dollars worth of trade goods around the world each year, including to the US,” he said. “We are eager to work together to make sure these items are transported safely.”

The US–China Cooperative Project Arrangement on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods enables the countries to:

  • Develop and strengthen avenues of communication concerning the safe transport of dangerous goods
  • Exchange and cooperate in the development of technical information to support regulatory development
  • Improve harmonisation and increase safety by implementing international regulations developed by international forums
  • Cooperate on enforcement and investigative actions to improve dangerous goods transport safety, to include exchange of incident and violation data
  • Organise training activities to strengthen the capabilities of managerial and technical personnel.

The agreement was reached following a joint Transportation Forum held in Beijing last December to address transportation issues including safety.

By Daniel Garrun.