The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has submitted a statement about the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s April 10, 2019 subcommittee hearing on “The Cost of Doing Nothing: Why Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance and Investment in our Nation’s Waterways Matter.”
In the statement, AEM outlined the importance of the health of the U.S. agricultural economy to the equipment manufacturing sector, and the many factors that influence it, including the functionality of the infrastructure it relies upon to move product from farm to market.
Specifically, the statement urged lawmakers to utilize funds meant for harbor maintenance for their designated purpose, instead of being diverted to offset budget deficits, as has been done. When these funds are not properly utilized, critical projects like dredging are put aside, slowing down infrastructure modernization, said AEM.
AEM also highlighted the need to prioritize funding for the backlog of critical inland waterways projects, including the outdated network of U.S. locks and dams.
According to the statement, “Our nation’s harbors and inland waterways are vital to the success of the equipment manufacturing industry, the agricultural sector, and all sectors of the U.S. economy. We urge Congress to provide the funds necessary to maintain and upgrade crucial infrastructure projects and prevent future efforts to divert those funds to other government spending areas. Practical and pragmatic efforts will help ensure that we reclaim the infrastructure advantage we once had.”