I have today signed into law S. 1798, the Household Goods Transportation Act of 1980. This bill is an important addition to the Motor Carrier Act, which I signed only 3 months ago. While both shippers and consumers will benefit from the anti-inflationary effect of that act, this bill addresses the difficulties consumers encounter in the one circumstance that puts them in direct contact with the trucking industryŚmoving day.
The Household Goods Transportation Act incorporates the reforms of the Motor Carrier Act, including procompetitive changes in the areas of market entry, collective ratemaking, and rate flexibility. Beyond these, this legislation addresses three important consumer needs: improved consumer information, increased price and service alternatives, and effective remedies for poor service.
The consumer benefits of this legislation will depend in large measure on the willingness of movers to take advantage of the flexibility and freedom of these reforms. No longer will movers be subject to excessive paperwork or detailed regulations prescribing how they conduct aspects of their business. Instead, competitiveness will be the key to success. The challenge to the moving industry is great. The act gives movers every opportunity to offer improved service. No longer can regulation be blamed for poor service or consumer dissatisfaction.
This bill reduces regulation, increases competition, and provides for essential consumer protection. It furthers my regulatory goals and fulfills the commitment I made over a year ago when I proposed trucking reform legislation. I promised then to "assure that consumers receive increased protection in the household goods moving industry."
I am grateful to those Members of Congress who worked so tirelessly for this bill. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Howard Cannon and Senator Bob Packwood devoted special hearings to the problems in this industry and developed the initial drafts of the bill we have today. In the House, Public Works and Transportation Committee Chairman Bizz Johnson, Subcommittee Chairman Jim Howard, and Congressmen Bill Hershe and Bud Shuster made important changes that consolidated support for the measure. Congressman Bob Eckhardt also contributed to enactment of this bill with valuable suggestions and assistance, especially in the area of dispute settlement.
Credit must also be given to the consumer representatives and household goods movers who have pressed for adoption of this legislation. Chairman Caskins and the members of the Interstate Commerce Commission provided essential guidance for these reforms, and I look forward with confidence to the Commission's prompt implementation of this legislation.