Maybe it was the weather or maybe it was all the upbeat talk and aviation activity, but Norm Mineta, beset by illness during his five-and-a-half year tenure as Transportation Secretary, looked and sounded in fine fettle at ALTA in Cancun. Now a Hill & Knowlton consultant, Mr. Secretary, as he is universally called, spent two days at the Latin American Airline Leaders Forum, working the crowd, giving a lunch speech and chatting with reporters and others at the event.
And Mr. Secretary was more candid with reporters than his government post had allowed him to be: in his years at DoT, and in his years on Capitol Hill as chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, Mineta was almost always the soul of tact. But reminiscing with a reporter after his lunch speech, Mineta was candidly and charmingly pessimistic about the possibility of open skies with the EC: the new House Transportation Committee chairman, Minnesota Democrat Jim Oberstar, “is against it and isn’t going to be moved.”
Oberstar will become chairman of the committee in January but has already pronounced the EC/US tentative agreement on investment liberalisation and open skies a ‘dead’ deal. http://www.house.gov/transportation_democrats/LtrtoJosh%20BoltenreFO.pdf
No deal is far better than US biased bad deal.