The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) yesterday welcomed news that the House-Senate conference committee has completed negotiations and issued its report on the long-awaited and critically-needed water resources development legislation.
“Having waited seven long years since passage of the last water resources authorization bill, our U.S. member ports are extremely pleased to see a final reauthorization bill,” said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle. “Our nation desperately needs this water resources legislation to fortify our infrastructure, create and maintain good-paying U.S. jobs, grow our economy and enhance America’s international competitiveness.”
Mr. Nagle noted that more than a quarter of America’s annual GDP is accounted for by international trade. “In order to strengthen the U.S. economy, we must ensure these goods can move efficiently in and out of America’s ports, without avoidable and costly delays caused by inadequate or poorly maintained infrastructure. The WRRDA authorization bill helps some of the critical waterside needs facing this nation.”
The bipartisan water resources legislation has a number of provisions that address the needs of America’s seaports. In particular, it:
– Establishes a pathway to full use of the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT);
– Addresses HMT donor equity;
– Modernizes the maintenance dredging cost-share threshold;
– Authorizes new navigation channel improvements;
– Expedites the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ navigation channel study completion process;
– Quickens the pace of project completions by enhancing partnerships.
“The bottom line is that this WRRDA bill will help enable the United States to enhance its maritime infrastructure and strengthen its position as a world leader in global trade. AAPA thanks the bipartisan leadership and urges swift final passage and enactment,” said Mr. Nagle.
Press Release, May 16, 2014