The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has expressed its concerns over the potential for major cuts to most of the federally funded, port-related programmes in the fiscal 2018 budget set out by US President Donald Trump.
The new budget has proposes to slash the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants programme, which last year awarded $61.8m to ports across the US.
TIGER includes various multimodal infrastructure funds for use in the dock, rail and road improvements.
The Department of Homeland Security’s port security grants programme (PSGP), which last year received a fund of $100m and provided 35 port security-related grants in fiscal 2017, is also expected to experience a significant cut in the latest budgetary proposal.
American Association of Port Authorities president and CEO Kurt Nagle said: “We’re apprehensive about the fiscal 2018 budget.
“Adequate federal investments into US port-related infrastructure, both on the landside and waterside, are crucial for the efficient movement of goods so the nation can remain globally competitive.
“Activities at US seaports account for more than a quarter of the nation’s economy, support over 23 million American jobs and generate more than $320bn a year in federal, state and local tax revenue.
"It’s vital the federal government uphold its end of the partnership with ports so the country can have a 21st century goods movement system in place.”
The authority has also urged the US Congress to provide $2.9bn for the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) navigation programme, including $1.6bn for the Coastal Navigation portion that covers deep-draft investigations, construction, operations and maintenance, and donor and energy transfer port activities.
AAPA has further urged to increase funding to $400m for the Department of Homeland Security’s port security grant programme, among other requests.