tv Railroads Commerce CSPAN July 20, 2018 2:57pm-4:04pm EDT
silence all cell phones. if you're on twitter, we encourage you to tweet during the program. hashtag, npc live. i'm going to introduce our guest. please hold your applause. i have mike rock for union pacif pacific. jay timmons, lisa matthews, assignment manager at the associated press and co-chair of the npc headliners team. john gallagher. bill cassidy. joseph morton.
please give them a round of applause. [ applause ] i'd like to acknowledge the staff and additional members of the headliners team who made this possible today. betsy fisher martin, lisa matthews who is here with us. t tamera hinton and executive director bill mckaren. thank you very much. i'd also like to thank you our kitchen staff who blessed us with very good food and themed cookies that are topical. for our broadcast audiences watches on c-span and elsewhere
by live stream. be aware in the audience are members of the general public. any applause or reaction you hear not necessarily from the working press today. this week nearly 155 years ago union pacific laid its first rails. union pacific has evolved into a polling giant. at the head is our guest today, lance fritz. while trade wars and automation were not a thing, it affected
how union pacific and competitors operated today. it could hurt 14 million of the workers who jobs depends on canada and mexico including those who helped elect the president. he has a pretty strong horse in this race as well. both commodities and finish products it's difficult to steer clear of many of the big debates shaping the country whether it's the effect that fossil fuel have an climate change or the mix between public and private investment.
he will discuss trade and economy at a time when both are dominating the news as well as discuss how technology is making freight transport safer. join me in a warm welcome to lance fritz to the national press club. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. it's great pleasure. i'm pleased to join you hear today. the national press club mission
to support professional journal im ism has never before more important than today. we need a vigorous, independent press to ensure our public policy discussions, debates are grounded in fact and reason. one area of policy that could use more fact and reason today maybe than ever before is international trade which is exactly why i'm here today. in the past an issue like trade policy might be an abstract. let me assure you for union pacific railroad and freight railroads, it's anything but. the decisions made here in washington about trade affect my hometown of omaha, nebraska and all of our citizens. it affects the 7300 communities that union pacific serves and our 10,000 plus customers. today i will describe the impacts i see and what i think is at stake for american workers. our consumers, businesses and the community we serve.
i'd also like to briefly share some thoughts on the role of technology in the debate. how we can use technology to provide a safer and more reliable service product. to understand how union pacific looks at trade, it's help to know about our best. derek mentioned were we started 126 years ago by president lynn on the when he signed us into existence in 1862.iynn on the when he signed us into existence in 1862.linynn on the into existence in 1862.cynn on s into existence in 1862.oynn on us into existence in 1862.lynn us into existence in 1862.nynn d us into existence in 1862.nn on us into existence in 1862. on t us into existence in 1862. on ts into existence in 1862. in 1862 the union was losing badly. it was all but certain thing and common knowledge that the war would end soon.
it would end in a divided nation. he thought what better than the explanation, the growth, the development of the west and what better mechanism than to put a transcontinental railroad together. that's exactly what he was thinking when he took that action in signing that act. over time we played that vital role that he had in mind. freight railroads are the plo
bloodstream of the u.s. economy. we support every sector. we are so tightly linked to our economy that we are considered a bellwether of baseconomic progr. between ourselves and ups we trade the world as being the most valuable publicly traded company. we play a very important role in the supply chain and in international trade. roughly 40%, as derick mentioned, of our shipments originate or terminate outside the united states. that's before and after into and out of canada, mexico, asia, europe, south america.
literally around the globe. we're the only railroad with service to the six gate ways and we enjoy about 70% of the that business. all of that means i see how international trade benefits our country every day and the stories of americans that we serve and that we see and that are employees. i see it in the iowa farmers that raise soybeans. i see it in texas. we serve a factory that makes
glass bottles. we ship crushed glass into the factories. turn into bottles. it ships down to mexico and gets filled with one of our favorite beers and it gets shipped back up here. that sicycle happens over and or every day, tens of hundreds of times every day. it's crystal clear that the u.s. economy is quite strong. some part of it is due to the sensible regulation that our gov government is approaching business with right now. i've heard very positive news from our customers that say that both tax reform and the sensible approach to regulation are generating strong consumer optimism. generating demand and growing
their confidence in capital investment. our potential exit from the north american free trade agreement or nafta along with a growing list of tariffs and escalating trade tensions with our trade partners threaten to undue much of that progress. what do i mean by that? let me give you a few examples. one of our key hubs that we serve is the port of long beach california. a ship has been sitting outside the port with a shipment of steel. the reason why t been shipped sitting offshore is there's a dispute over who's going to pay that tariff. we see it in our own consumption of steel. it's built to a dimension we're having a hard time and cannot
find in the united states. our first shipment of that steel post tariff happened in may. the boat sat in san francisco harbor for four weeks while there's a dispute over who would pay the tariff which was 6 million dollar for that boat. if we got an exemption which we filed with the commerce department, whether or not there would be a refund. these are rail lines to get those to foreign markets. in the middle of the country roughly one out of every two acres is planted for export. china has imposed tariff on soybeans in retaliation of
chinese goods and that sharply curtailed purchases. it didn't help that soybean prices are at a ten year low. add the president of the arkansas farm bureau said we're getting to a point now it's going to be very difficult for a farmer to make a profit with prices down and an increase in prices and everything else. lumber tariffs are added to the cost of living and housing is already difficult to afford. the record high lumber prices of that of nearly $9,000 for a new single family home for national home builders association. those are just a few examples.
they are hardly the only warning signs. studies show that tariffs will hurt u.s. jobs. according to a study commission, 134,000 jobs are threatened by the first round of new tariffs on china. that could be amplified if tariffs escalate. tariffs have the potential to undo the benefit of tax reform by raising the prices for range of goods. an economist add moody's
estimate that u.s. households gain about $900 annually from last year's tax legislation and the widespread tariffs could consume about 80% of the because of the drive up in the cost of impa imports. i want to be clear. i applaud the administration for leveling the playing field when it comes to americans for trade parol wh particularly when it comes to addressing mexico. some of our administration's proposed changes look like they will do more harm than good. we're seeking a sunset clause that would terminate nafta after five years also all three countries agreed to continue. that causes significant uncertainty for long term
business planning which would shrink investment in the united states as well as in our nafta trading partners. you can force the other parties to get into a negotiation on something that, for instance, has aged and needs to be changed like in the current agreement. united states is also taking aim at nafta's investor dispute settlement processer.
when a government engages in discrimination or unfair treatment of property owner or the out right seizure of property without recourse. scrapping or otherwise undermining that process would raise questions glow bally about america's commitment to due process principles. we should find and focus on mending, not ending the isds so investors in the united states, canada and mexico have a clear path to protecting their investments. make no mistake, withdrawing from nafta would be disasterous. it would damage the u.s. economy. it also could hurt many of the 14 million jobs that depend on trade with mexico and canada. administration needs to find a better way by strengthening and
moderning, not ending them. china's behavior needs to change. in order to make that happen we need to work with our allies, not start trade wars with them. we need to negotiate enforceable new rules. not just impose tariffs and raise prices for everyone. the business leaders i've spoken to understand that global trade could continue with or without the u.s. if the united states of america doesn't write if rules of global trade, i'm sure china would be more than happy to write them for us. i believe one of the biggest challenges our society faces isn't necessarily unfair or weak trade agreements but how to provide meaningful work and decent wages for workers whose jobs are threatened by
technological trade. they have lost substantial amounts of their manufacturing job base. in 2015 the ball state university did a study on factors for declining manufacturing employment in the united states. what they found is that of the 5.6 million jobs lost between 2000 and 2010, roughly 88% of the that could be accounted for by productivity. 88% of the 5.6 million jobs lost in that decade. 12% could be accounted for by a negative trade balance. most economist plooef thbelieve significant impact has been the gradual move to more high
skilled, high wage job and low skill, low wage jobs opinion all you have to do is look to silicon valley and the growth there that's important contributor to that job evolution. while manufacturing output has been trending up in the u.s. due to increased productivity, productions with fewer and fewer workers. the decline is global. it's not local and not one just unique to us. advancements in technology mean our economy will only become more productive over time. that more of the jobs we provide will be better paying and saferesafer. we're significant changes in railroad as well.
over the last ten years we have made sfaubstantial investments our platforms. we maintain advance telecommunication systems. across our system we have 1300 cell towers and 700 microwave towers. a number of leading technologies partner with us to use the infrastructure for their own use. one of our other areas we call net control which is a comprehensive platform that's built on something called mic microservices architecture.
it's the same technology platform that's running the cloud that netflix uses. there's one only company that has a larger application than ourselves. we provide internet of things ca capabilitie capabilities. several years our engineer teams realize that lasers could be used to inspect trains instead of humans. it's a big mri for a train. it takes 50,000 images a second.
we're using machine learning. it's built from scratch by our technology experts. what smart eda does is it's an advanced machine learning model that incorporate gps data, train speed, train schedule data and builds a model to make increasingly accurate estimate train arrival times. we have seen a 20% average eta improvement since we launched it in pilot. we're in the early stages of testing 3-d printing. we're using drones to help us inspect bridges in some of those
telecommunication towers i mentioned earlier. we're aggressive about recruiting top t to the best of my recollection -- tier talentt my recollection -- tier talent.y recollection -- tier talent.the recollection -- tier talent.bes recollection -- tier talent.t o recollection -- tier talent. my recollection -- tier talent.my recollection -- tier talent.y recollection -- tier talent. re- tier talent.recollection -- tier talent.ecollection -- tier talent.collection -- tier talent.ollection -- tier talent.ction -- tier talent.ion -- tier talent.on -- tier talent.n -- tier talent. -- tier talen-- tier ti. you have a path forward of not getting out of the work that we value and going into a management job. what we're trying to do isn't create one cool innovation or a series. we're trying to create a posture of constant innovation. that's what's necessary in the world of railroad. as you're well aware, autonomous technology is also continuing to drive change and our competition isn't standing still. the auto and trucking industries have been pursuing autonomous operations for some time and continue to make advances. pilots are active and under way right now around the world.
the first autonomous driver free train completed a journey in australia. ultimately, it's a very long road to autonomous trains. we have to be open minded. the platform already exists in the form of positive train control or ptc. ptc is a suite of technologies designed to stop a train in four circumstances. before a train to train collision occurs, train derailment, before train goes through a missile line switch or before a train enters into a work zone unauthorized.
100% of our passenger lines will be equipped to use ptc by the end of this year. unanticipated operated issues have naturally developed. we're working to resolve those while maintaining health and safety of the rail network. obviously, technological change is an unstoppable force. if we want to protect american jobs, we need to focus on enhancing america's ability to compete glow bally and help u.s. workers adapt to technological change. two examples of jobs that
require trained work force are things like an automotive service bay or railroad diesel mechanics. i have a friend in omaha who owns about 20 car dealerships. his service bay pay about 70 to $80,000 for a skilled technician with a great benefits package and there's quite a bit of job security in those jobs. he keeps about 10 or 12 bays empty because he can't find the work force to fill it. he's not big enough to be able to create a program to train his own. at union pacific, we're big enough to train our own. what we need is bigger pools to hire from. we're looking for technically trained employees rr employor e have an aptitude toward being technical and we're run them through our own apprenticeship programs.
that's about a sixth or a seventh of what other rich countries spend and even that is probably not enough. we need to improve our educational system to train students to fill high skilled technical jobs across a variety of industries. we've got to stop teaching our kids that college is the only way to go when if you work for a railroads you can earn 70, 80, 90,000 there are a year with an excellent benefit package doing work that's very rewarding. the best way to create new jobs
a trade. your company was founded by abraham lincoln and he did it so he could connect america, east to west. today we continue to provide means to american businesses to compete on a global scale. our government has the chance to continue creating economic opportunity for american workers and businesses but only if we leave the world and maintain our long standing commitment to international trade. the best step our government can take is create a climate in which businesses can invest and create jobs. the recent trade policies have done the opposite that will create uncertainty to cause
capital investment to slow down. we need to find a better way to address trade balances by modernizing agreements like nafta, not ending them and working with our allies constructively instead of starting trade wars with them. i'd be very happy to take any of your questions. [ applause ] you mentioned a lot on trade, a lot on tariffs and,0 h they will impact commodities and other sectors. how will they impact freight rail? >> freight rail thrives when consumers consume things and when international trade is healthy. it will impact all three of
those sectors. tariffs and disrupted trade tends to be a tax on consumption for sure. it's going to drive up pricing. we'll see consumption be less robust than it otherwise would be. uncertainty like what we see happening in nafta causes the industrial economy to slow down on its investments and be more cautious. the industrial economy, the life plood blood of that is capital investment. when we disrupt trade flows through tariffs, whether it's been us or trading partners, that disrupted trade blow. the scariest part is supply chain starts altering. once a customer alter a supply chain and learn to live with it and learn to optimize it, they never come back fully to the original supply chain.
that will change maybe where we've made investments. it will trade maybe where trade flows. all of that could impact us. >> how much more expensive is a mile of track? >> takes about $3 million to build a brand new mile of track. sometimes a little more. >> is it steel tariffs, do they -- >> let's talk about that a bit. that boat that was out in the harbor, our rail bought from japan which we were paying a premium to buy, the 25% tariff on it cost us about $6 million. it's a pretty significant amount rail might be, call it three quarters of a million dollars a mile. >> you mentioned the tax cuts. i want to get to that. the things we're seeing across companies now is a great influx of cash. i'm sure you have seen that as well. what are you doing with it? >> we're a great beneficiary of corporate tax reform because we are a u.s. based big assess par
sis pa -- participant in the economy. our wages and benefits are very attractive and we're increasing the amount of cash we're giving back to our shareholders. it's their cash to begin with. are you doing a lot of additional capital expenditures. where is that going? >> i think this year capital spending versus last year is 150 to $250 million. that's a significant amount for any company. the benefit from corporate tax might have been in the neighborhood of a billion dollars in incremental annual
cash flow. the rest is both reflected in hopefully job growth as the economy percolates. that's a bigger wage base for us. >> i know that you all have said you're trying to increase capaci capacity. it's one of the things you've been clear on. over the last several quarters keeps rising. what's going on there ? >> good question. we publish statistics weekly with the aar. the association of american railroads. our dwell time is down pretty sfanlly. call it in the neighborhood of 29 hours day. that's a measure of every rail car on the railroad and how long
it sits in a terminal when it's not on a train running. velocity is every mile of the railroad where trains move even through terminals. how many miles you make in a given hour. we had a little bit of congestion of last year and into the beginning of this year. that was caused by a number of events. some of them, weather events like hurricane harvey. some of them some other catalysts. we've been working to get those statistics back. both of them are or on the way of the railroad design. we're within earshot. call it 20% plus or minus of being where we want to be.
we're on the way to being that exactly. >> when are you going to catch them? >> they do not have slightly better rates now. depends on what you're looking at. let's deconstruct the industry. if winning is described more broadly is creating long term shareholder value and doing it in a sustainable way, we're the most valuable transportation company in the world. i think we're doing a pretty fair job there. when you broaden that out even
further, we like to talk about what we're creating for four key stake holders which is our customers who depend on us to win in their marketplace. our employees who depend on us to fulfill themselves. the communities we serve to be safe, reliable and build their economic fabric and our shareholders who depend on us to build an attractive return. >> two of the main things any freight rail deals with coal and oil. these are two things that you talked about the president's policies and how they are having an affect. this president made no secret of want more coal, wanting more shipping on coal. are you seeing it yet? are you expecting anything? are you changing your business in way that would allow you to carry more?
where are we going on that? i'm not sure we're seeing matching the rhetoric. >> we see it as a secular repositioning. used to generate half the nation's electricity if you go back 10 to 15 years. today it generates maybe 30%. i don't think that grows from where it is today as a percent of e lelectricity. i think it's important to have a good balance support of multiple fuels generating our electricity. coal is highly reliable and we have a lot of it. >> sometimes when we're looking at growth, people are talking growth in absolute numbers.
sometimes it's growth against projections. right now in the projections are down and go to flat, that's growth. is that what you're saying we could be hitting? >> it's hard to say that. i think as we look out in the future, maybe the best sources, the eia, which is a government entity that looks at the energy industry, they're projections are going to short term flattening out of curve but long term that percent anl age is st going to drop to some degree. i don't think it goes away. i don't think that's good for the nation to go away. oil is not terribly directly connected to coal consumption. natural gas is directly connected to coal consumption. natural gas and oil have some
connectivity. recently they have been disconnected to a degree. we have generated so much more incremental oil production in the united states that we're a wash in natural gas. our natural gas pricing has been pretty stable and been in the $3 plus or minus range or even less for quite a bit of time. that will change over time. that will prompt consumption and natural gas and that will -- the demand will start consuming the excess supply. we're in a place that looks like for a bit of time, we have plenty of natural gas. that's what's going to really retard coal demand on the demand side. >> one of the questions from the audience, we talked about cash influx and what you're doing with that. you have a long history of opening new markets being in new places. what's new? where are you going? any new markets you're looking at opening now? >> what's new in the world of railroads is the consumization
of our customer base. you think about our experience. regardless of your age right now, you've probably ubered, probably air b and b'd or you know somebody that has. you certainly have used amazon, probably amazon price. u.p.s. what you see is instant pricing. lots of options, done your way, delivered your way when you want it. what i think is happening and it's happening rapidly and we're driving it is applying technology and innovation to that customer experience. we're not only applying it on the inside of the business. i mentioned a lot of those examples today but we're applying it to the outside of the business. all along the path the customer interacts making that experience, rapid, easy and
something they want to do more of, not less of. that's a sea change for us as an industry. >> another question from the audience that had to do with this. mergers and acquisitions. i want to ask what you're looking at in terms of mna. >> it's been relatively small. we bought some coal warehouse storage business. i think most activities would be in areas like that that our value adds for a customer base. if you think about industry
consolidation, i don't anticipate it will be happening any time soon. >> do you think -- it's a thing i had multiple people asked me to ask you. is there going to be that in the future or is the industry pretty happy with where it is right now? >> the industry has been in this current state for quite some time. there could be benefits of additional consolidation. you can always kind of take redundancies out. the path forward is to go through the stb for authorization to acquire another class one railroad or for two class ones to merge. in that process they are committed to evaluate not just the competitive dynamics but enhance competition through
acquisition. it's got to be more competitive not less. they have to consider the downstream impacts of the first transcontinental merger or class one merger. we think those economics mean more value destroyed than value created. right now we don't think that's the right path to go down. >> let's go back to trade. put a fine point on it. you mentioned a lot of your business relationship with mexico, with companies in mexico. put a fine point on it. what would nafta mean to union pacific? >> i think it would be a disaster. it would be bad for our economy. i truly believe that. i think it would have a downward pressure on jobs. a downward pressure on trade, an
upward pressure on price. >> let me think about some of the safety things you have mentioned. positive train control, goal at the end of the year you said. 1 to 100% how confident are you? >> 100%. we're be installed, everybody trained for it. all the band width we need. we'll have about 75% of our railroad implemented, lit up. we have 2019 and 2020 to do the rest. there's a lot of hard work there. i'm 100% confident before the end of 2020 it's all done. >> another question dealing with
safety. in your network area, you have, i don't even know what the number could possibly be of at great crossings. >> a lot. are you doing anything to ftry o reduce the number? do you have a goal there? >> we have 32,000 miles of railroad. we have about 32,000 crossings. it's about one a mile. the issue is driver behavior accounts for virtually all of our crossing accidents. >> yeah, want to beat the barrier. >> we have an accident a day. it's really discouraging. what we're doing about that is couple of things. one is big data and analytics.
we enroll the help of some smart phds on the outside, some of our own and they came up with 27 factor model to determine relative risk of grade crossings and then that drives our team on the riskiest crossings to go out, work with the local community and come up with a game plan to mitigate the risk. we're doing that all over the place now. >> are you seeing given the number of legislatures were in a train earlier this year that hit a vehicle at a crossing. are you seeing any sort of legislative move toward anything in. >> what i am seeing is those conversations are much more meaningful. sdp ye >> yeah, they are. >> we can drive to personal experience which also helps. fully 70% of the accidents on our railroad happen where there's active warning devices. either gates or flashing lights. i don't think it's about let's add more flashing lights opinion
i think it's about we have harden the infrastructure to the greatest degree. that means stop and if it's not clear, don't go. autonomy will tremendously in that way. >> are accidents up or down? >> they are marginally up. it's very frustrating for a company that cares deeply about safety, there's nothing more frustrating right now than grade crossing incidents and trespasser incidents. >> speaking of trespasser incidents, wefr h've had a lot talk about immigration. there's a big focus on the trump administration of reducing illegal immigration. are you seeing anything in terms
of that connected with your freight rail network in. >> the way we think about immigration is more about a job source. if you look at the united states, we've got labor participation right of something like just below 63%. historically that was 67%. the opioid epidemic are creating felons at large numbers that become unemployable. we have a number of other issues in the younger population that we need to deal with. we'll need immigration to feed the work force to keep the economy going. our u.s. citizens, there's not enough in the work force to do the work necessary. we saw statistic last month for the first time in forever that the number of open jobs exceeded the number of individuals seeking a job. you have just fundamental imbalance.
>> one of the things we're tracking is the folks that the president may or may not be listening to on this topic. this is president just out line $200 billion in possible tariffs from china. who has come out with aluminum tariffs. it seems like a lot of free trade, more trade guys aren't there right now. who do you go to? who's the open door? >> we'll speak to anybody. you don't have to be a friend. >> who speaks to you? >> you don't have to be a friend to be part of our dialogue. if all we do is speak to the friendlies, you're probably not having an impact. >> who is your biggest ally in the administration? >> there are a number in the administration that i think fundamentally get the utility of trade and the end game right.
whether that's wilbur ross in commerce or larry kudlow or mnuchin. what i'm worried about is the f tactics. >> one of the questions from the audience, do you think the trade war is coming to an immediate climax sometime soon or are you expecting this to endure throughout the trump presidency and beyond? >> either way is bad from my perspective. if we get into place where we wake up this time next year and there's still uncentur uncertai nafta, we're retarding investments. i'm sure that would start impacting people's decisions. business decisions on where they will make their investment and to what degree. if something were to happen cat
trou -- catastrophically today, that would be body. let's stop picking fights with some of our trade partners and focus our full attention and might on the and might on the h issues at hand which is fair and equitable investment with china. >> union pacific had a nonagreement layoff in a nonagreement positions. in retrospect, anything you would have done differently? >> if you ever led an organization, you'd be lying if you said i'd do it exactly the same every time. and so for sure there are some things that i would do differently. the thing i wouldn't do differently is those decisions were made for the right reasons. union pacific has to be more agile and we have to make more decisions quickly. we have to allow technology to do the work that's necessary. and we have to be able to compete both in our freight railroad market and against the outside world whether it's barge
or geographic competition or truck. what i would do differently is focus more attention on the change management process. that's an area that i think my leadership team and i did not do particularly stellar job at and given an opportunity to do it again, i'd spend more time and energy on that. >> let me ask you about some future technologies. they seem pie in the sky. i think i captured a large bit of the imagination. what do you think about the hyper loop? is that realistic? >> we pay attention to the hyper loop. >> are you going to build one? >> we were invited to participate and we chose not to at this point. you know, hyper loop right now largely is defined around trying to move passengers. there is a context for trying to move freight. but the context for moving freight is pretty small quantity. and there's a lot of challenges there, right? i mean big mass, accelerating
rapidly and decelerating rapidly. there are a lot of psychics to that. it's not real obvious to us that that's an immediate direct competitive threat. autonomy platooning just the application of technology to our relationships with customers much more immediate, much more attention grabbing right now. >> there is movement underway to build a magnetic levitation train from washington to baltimore and then eventually on to new york. realistic? not realistic? >> that's for you to decide on the east coast. >> do you want one in texas. >> i don't need one in texas. >> let me ask you about passenger rail. it runs on your tracks, i believe. obviously amtrak has had well publicized issues, especially with on time rates. that is always a persistent thing. how do you rate amtrak right now? where is that going? and if you can sort of give us any idea of how it looks as a partner under the trump administration versus previous
years. >> sure. let me -- i'm going to do the unconscienceable. my communication team is starting to krifrpg. >> th -- cringe. >> we'll talk about amtrak and then our relationship with amtrak we have an obligation. amtrak has a contract to run on us with authority if you will over our freight traffic. and we take that seriously. that's a contract that we entered into knowingly. we provide the best long haul anywhere on any system. we care about that. that service is on union pacific. having said that, we're not looking to run more amtrak trains. as long as they want passenger rail to exist, the united states
needs to figure out how to fund it adequately and reliably. we don't do that now. amtrak begs for the subsidy every yeern it's going up and down and that's a bad place to be. i would advocate if we as a country think we want long haul passenger rail service and you want the northeast corridor and you want state sponsored service on amtrak, figure out reliable funding mechanisms, put them in place and make it happen. >> one of the best success stories probably i think unquestionably the best amtrak success story is the northeast region. the northeast regional et cetera, there is talk about doing a little bit more like that in your footprint. you know, houston, dallas, et cetera. do you see anything like that in the immediate future? is that realistic? would the marketplace support that? or is everyone pretty well stuck to southwest? >> one of those has already occurreded on us.
we run a line between chicago and st. louis. and we had a very long term agreement with the state of illinois that under certain circumstances we would increase or at least host passenger service on that line. that's happened. it is a higher speed rail line. it is 120 miles an hour on certain segments and hosted by amtrak and making significant capital investment along with the state and the federal government. and so we're already a participant in that. now i don't think that ridership is going to explode on that service and replace the air service between chicago and st. louis. >> all right. we're coming to the end of this. i did promise to be prompt. i'd like to respect everyone's time on. that i know you all are very used to promptness. so i would like to right before
we close up. we have one last question as a tradition. but before that, let me make announcements. future national press club events with major speakers july 16th, luncheon with mlb commissioner rob manfred. you can ask him about the all star game. july 18th, anthony fouchy, the director of niaid and august 13th, a book event with sean spicer. i think that will be very well attended just as the anthony scaramucci one was earlier this year. and i'd also like to present you -- this is a big deal -- with the national press club mug. >> wow. this is a tradition we do with speakers. >> thank you. >> i can confidently say it fits well within any possible gift limits. >> there is only one way to get
it. >> now my final question to you is as many people in this country familiarity with freight rail started at a very, very young age. do you see yourself more as a thomas or a topham hat? >> i'm definitely a thomas. right? i try hard. i'm a grinder. will take on any challenge as a team. and succeed. we're thomas. >> lance fritz, a very useful engine. thank you for being here at the national press club. >> i appreciate it. great job on the questions. those were great questions. >> thank you all for joining us here at the press club.
join us this weekend for alaska weekend for featured programming on c-span, book tv and american history tv. we'll explore alaska's natural beauty, history, culture, and public policy issues facing the state. saturday morning on c-span, washington journal axios energy reporter amy hearter on the infect of climate change in alaska. sunday morning, the executive droektor of the national congress of american inldians discusses native-american and native alaskan issues. on the communicators saturday at 6:30 p.m. eastern, tina pigeon, general counsel for alaskan cable provider gci, talks about how the company makes broadband possible for small village as cross tundra, glaciers and mountains. and then incoming president of
the alaska collaborative for tell he medicine and tell he health, christopher dietrich on providing health care to communities in alaska. and then on book tv had, saturday at noon eastern, the c-span city's tour explores the alaska literary and historical scene with dermot cole. and stan jones, author and former anchorage daily news investigative reporter on the 1989 exxon valdez oil spill. and on afterwards, mark adams talks about his book tip of the iceberg. his experience retracing an 1899 expedition of scientists, artists, conservationists and writers up the alaskan coast on american history tv on c-span3 sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern, the c-span city's tour visits the alaska state capital, the alaska native heritage center and we'll take a look at preparing seafood
for market from alaska glacier seafood incorporated. 4:30 on real america. watch four documentaries on alaska. the 1936 film alaska silver millions, the 1949 film eskimo hunters in northwestern alaska, the 1967 film alaska centennial and the 1944 film alaska highway. watch alaska weekend saturday and sunday july 21st and 22nd on the c-span networks at c-span.org or listen with the free c-span radio app. >> secretary of state mike pompeo will be on capitol hill next wednesday to talk about north korea, the president's trip to the nato summit and his meeting with russian president putin. live coverage from the senate foreign relations committee begins at 2:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span 3, c-span.org, and on the free c-span radio app.
>> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c., and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> our live coverage of the national governor's association summer meeting continues tomorrow. last day of the gathering in santa fe, new mexico, on the agenda, international perspective on state and federal collaboration, the importance of arts and history education, and preparing the future workforce. watch live coverage tomorrow afternoon beginning at 12:15 eastern on our companion network c-span. officials from the state department and u.s. agency for
international development testify now about the trump administration's policy towards latin america. lawmakers asks x. the witnesses about migrant children and families. humanitarian aid to venezuela, human rights in cuba and trance national organized crime. ed royce of california chairs the house foreign affairs committee. new york democrat elliott aeng will -- engle is the minority. this is about 2 1/2 hours. >> we'll call this hearing to order. today we look at u.s. policy towards latin america and towards the caribbean. our relationships in the western hemisphere are forged by deep cultural and economic ties. we export a lot of goods to the caribbean, and that supports many u.s. jobs. across latin ame,