Congressional PORTS Caucus Presses for Infrastructure Investment
On Wednesday, Congressional Ports Opportunity, Renewal, Trade, and Security (PORTS) Caucus co-chairs Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) and Ted Poe (TX-02) led a bipartisan coalition of 36 Members of Congress to call on Congressional leaders to ensure that any federal infrastructure package include resources for America's ports.
"Our national supply chain begins at ports," the Members wrote. "It is paramount that we provide our ports with the resources they need to both maintain and improve their infrastructure and the national freight network." Full letter text is below
"I'm proud of our broad, bipartisan PORTS Caucus, and believe it is critical for us to send this message to leadership: our nation's ports must be at the table," Congressman Lowenthal said. "In the past, this White House has proposed cuts to key multimodal programs like TIGER, which are vital to our ports, where goods transfer from ships to trains and trucks. We need to strengthen these programs, improve these connections, and invest to alleviate bottlenecks that slow goods movement."
"As co-founder and co-chairman of the PORTS Caucus, I believe it is vital to invest in America's ports and waterways," Congressman Poe said. "Any infrastructure package presented by the Administration should include necessary funding to maintain and improve our national freight network. Our nation's ports are critical to the growth of our economy and our national supply chain."
"The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the unified and recognized voice of America's seaports, is optimistic over the prospect of a major infrastructure funding package being approved this year by Congress and the Administration," AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle said.
In the letter, the Members point out that the AAPA has identified nearly $70 billion in infrastructure needs for federal investment at U.S. seaports "to improve the flow of cargo as it heads to its final destination." These investments, the Members wrote, both on land and in the water, will help alleviate congestion in crowded metropolitan areas, hasten the adoption of low or zero-emissions freight technology, and make U.S. seaports more competitive.
"Because U.S. ports and their private-sector partners have told AAPA they plan to invest some $155 billion into port-related infrastructure and other capital projects between 2016 and 2020," Nagle said, "we're urging the federal government to make a total of $66 billion in port-related investments over the next 10 years on both the landslide and waterside to help ensure the planned investments by the ports come to fruition.
"Leveraging federal investments in port-related programs will yield huge dividends in the form of economic growth, maintaining and creating jobs, enhancing America's international competitiveness and sustaining a healthy environment."
To read the full text of the letter, including all signatories, click here.