Woman to woman: What should Chao know about trucking?

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Updated Jan 18, 2017

If all goes as expected, Elaine L. Chao will soon become the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Transportation Secretary nominee Elaine Chao with her husband Sen. Mitch McConnellTransportation Secretary nominee Elaine Chao with her husband Sen. Mitch McConnell

Once confirmed by the Senate, she will become just the third woman to oversee the department that has jurisdiction over the nation’s highways, airports, railways, ports and pipelines. In short, anything that moves, including the trucking industry.

Chao follows in the footsteps Elizabeth Dole, who was of three transportation secretaries in Ronald Reagan’s two terms, and Mary Peters, who served a little more than two years under George W. Bush.

During her three-hour confirmation hearing last week before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Chao answered questions on a variety of topics. Senators asked the 63-year-old native of Taiwan and former secretary of Labor under George W. Bush about:

  • the nation’s air traffic control system
  • the permitting process for projects like airport runways
  • railroad and pipeline safety
  • drones

But, aside from questions about how the Trump administration plans to pay for infrastructure improvements and deal with autonomous vehicles, Chao was asked next to nothing about America’s trucking industry and its 3.5 million drivers.

That’s where you come in.

What would you like to ask Secretary-designee Chao and, more importantly, what do you want her to know about

  1. the trucking industry
  2. what’s it like being a woman driver?

Finally, what do you want Chao to add to her “to do” list when it comes to trucking?

Use the comments section below to share your thoughts.