Ian Adams on railroads

Law360 – ICLE Executive Director Ian Adams was quoted by Law360 in an article about the impact on the railroad industry of President Joe Biden’s executive order on competition. You can read the full piece (behind a subscriber firewall) here.

Ian Adams, executive director of the nonprofit International Center for Law & Economics, said Friday that “open access is bound to create significant inefficiencies in the market by diminishing infrastructure investment incentives as competing firms get to leverage networks at little cost to them, and at governmentally dictated artificially deflated rates.”

“What’s more, the notion that the shippers are themselves small businesses requiring the type of competitive remedies called for in the EO doesn’t comport with the current market reality,” Adams said. “This feels more like a wealth transfer. So, I suppose my takeaway from the EO is that the administration has rebranded and repackaged longstanding priorities and not done anything terribly novel.”

Adams said the data underlying the proposal at this point is stale.

“My guess is that the freight industry will demand an opportunity to refresh the record before either moving forward with the 2016 notice of proposed rulemaking or issuing a new one,” he said.