The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) released a statement announcing that it will propose a ten-year, federal port infrastructure program, of a $66 billion total worth, aiming to assist seaports accommodate the US’ increasing marine cargo volumes.
Namely, Port of Cleveland President and CEO William Friedman, will testify on Jan. 10 will before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) in a hearing titled America’s Water Infrastructure Needs and Challenges.
Mr. Friedman will focus on issues regarding navigation infrastructure maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement, in order to help committee members understand the critical infrastructure issues faced by America’s public ports.
“AAPA is looking forward with great anticipation to a focus on America’s infrastructure investment needs by the Trump Administration and Congress in 2018. Our testimony tomorrow will kick-off the new year with infrastructure as a priority, including waterside infrastructure that needs to be addressed in the next WRDA (Water Resources Development Act) legislation. Seaport cargo activity accounts for 26 percent of U.S. GDP, over 23 million American jobs, and generates over $320 billion annually in federal, state and local tax revenues. To ensure these jobs, tax revenues and freight volumes continue to grow and support the American economy, AAPA has worked with its member ports to identify $66 billion in federal port-related infrastructure investments over the next 10 years, on both the waterside and the landside,” mentions AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle.
Specifically, AAPA will recommend 3 key points for inclusion in the next WRDA bill:
- Future Harbor Maintenance Tax revenues go directly to the Corps of Engineers rather than into the U.S. General Fund.
- Congress to authorize and construct navigation project improvements recommended in the Corps’ Chief of Engineer’s reports.
- Additional streamlining to be implemented on the Corps’ study process for navigation channel improvements.
“Our testimony before the Senate EPW Committee is a way to draw further attention to the value that ports provide and to stress that efficient waterside and landside connections to ports must be a top priority in any broad federal infrastructure package that we’re optimistic will be advanced this year,” mentions AAPA’s Mr. Nagle.