17 Aug Airo AV Stated: Crawford plays legislative whack-a-mole with China-made bus
And he is tenacious: This year Crawford has been playing the legislative equivalent of whack-a-mole. If there’s a route Chinese companies can take to enter the U.S. transportation market with buses or railcars, odds are Crawford will be either introducing or cosponsoring legislation to block them.
“Because of his military background, because of his ranking membership of the rails subcommittee, because Arkansas is a big state for rail manufacturing, he just sort of hits all the different buckets, and has an instant grasp of the issue,” said Erik Olson, vice president of the Rail Security Alliance, which lobbies to keep Chinese-owned and subsidized companies out of U.S. transit.
He is far from the only lawmaker involved in the issue, but at least in recent months, he’s been one of the most vocal, joining a bipartisan group that includes House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., Conor Lamb, D-Pa., Harley Rouda, D-Calif., Scott Perry, R-Pa. In the Senate, the group includes Martha McSally, R-Ariz., and, from the Senate Banking Committee, ranking member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and Chairman Michael D. Crapo, R-Idaho.
The China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation, known as CRRC, has won contracts to produce subway cars and commuter train cars in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles since 2014, leading groups like the Rail Security Alliance to fear that the company’s next step will be to try to enter the freight rail market.
CRRC did not respond to at least five emails and a phone message requesting comment.