The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has called upon the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) to offer a $66bn, ten-year federal investment plan to improve infrastructure at the country’s public ports.
The call was made by Port of Cleveland president and CEO William Friedman on behalf of the AAPA during a hearing titled ‘America’s Water Infrastructure Needs and Challenges’.
Friedman, who is also AAPA’s US delegation chairman-elect, has requested that EPW provides the $66bn as part of US President Donald Trump’s proposed $1tn infrastructure package for this year.
AAPA president and CEO Kurt Nagle said: “Seaport cargo activity accounts for 26% of US GDP, over 23 million American jobs and generates over $320bn 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 $66bn in federal port-related infrastructure investments over the next ten years, on both the waterside and the landside.”
AAPA has also made three recommendations for inclusion in the upcoming Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill.
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The recommendations include a proposal to send the future Harbor Maintenance Tax revenues directly to the Corps of Engineers, rather than the US General Fund.
AAPA has also suggested that Congress authorises and builds the navigation project improvements recommended in the Corps’ Chief of Engineer’s reports.
It also stated that additional streamlining should be implemented on the Corps’ study process for navigation channel improvements.