In today’s hearing before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) will testify regarding the infrastructure needs of seaports, and offer a number of ways to ensure that America’s ports have to ability to continue supporting U.S. international trade.
Speaking for AAPA will be its president and CEO, Kurt Nagle, who will offer the hemispheric port association’s perspectives about the strong connection between international trade and seaports, and needs to improve freight-handling infrastructure to accommodate the nation’s rising passenger numbers and trade volumes, both now and in the future.
“To remain internationally competitive in today’s economy, America needs a coordinated multimodal freight network that incorporates and leverages every mode of freight transportation, both on land and in the water,” said Mr. Nagle.
“AAPA projects the seaport industry will require about $66 billion in infrastructure investments over the next decade, including nearly $34 billion for waterside projects, like deep-draft dredging of our harbors and channels, and about $32 billion for landside projects, like road and rail connectors to our ports.”
In Mr. Nagle’s remarks, he will recommend that the best way to provide needed navigation maintenance funding is for Congress to adopt the long-term funding solution AAPA developed earlier this year, the Association said in their release.
AAPA’s solution devotes 100 percent of the funds collected from shippers for the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) while requiring no additional tax burden on the transportation industry or on taxpayers.
In terms of increasing investments in landside freight movement infrastructure, particularly road and rail connections with ports, Mr. Nagle will recommend the Senate adopt the House Appropriations Committee’s provision to mandate that one-third of FY 2019 BUILD/TIGER program grants be allocated to ports.