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Innovation and Job Displacement Addressed by Choa During Confirmation Hearing

on Wednesday, 18 January 2017.

During her Senate confirmation Hearing on Jan. 11, Transportation Secretary nominee Elaine Chao reported that she would strive for balance between safety and efficiency in the industry, as well autonomous driving innovation and job displacement. With the growing potential for autonomous vehicles and drones in commercial transport, nominee Chao stated that she would support continued technological innovation while remaining sensitive to job displacement from workers in the industry.

“We are facing new technologies, emerging technologies that will bring about great dislocations,” said Chao. “How we as a society deal with that [without] stifling or dampening innovation — that’s the balance [we want]. It’s not an issue that can be decided by one person or one department. It requires national attention and discussion.”

Chao continued by addressing her planned focus on public safety as Secretary of Transportation, and reaching a compromise between regulation and industry progress. “The role of the government is to foster an environment for jobs to grow,” she stated. “I’m very much in support of government creating the environment through which job creation and economic growth can occur.”

Monday’s hearing was the initial step in the constitutional process of the Senate confirming Chao as Secretary of Transportation. The committee will report its recommendation to the Senate before the full vote by the chamber.


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