Trump told ports need investment

US President Donald Trump A coalition of ports and industry organisations has written to Donald Trump to highlight the need for federal funding for ports. Image courtesy of Shealah Craighead/ Wikimedia

A US ports coalition has urged President Trump “not to overlook” ports as federal infrastructure investments plans are made.

The group said that “outdated” port infrastructure threatens to interrupt the supply chain and the country’s economy and the development of a national strategy for infrastructure investments is a key time to address this.

In a letter to President Trump, the group, made up of Port Authority of New York & New Jersey; Port of Long Beach; Port of Los Angeles; terminal operators Ports America Group and SSA Marine; the Agriculture Transportation Coalition and Retail Industry Leaders Association, told President Trump that “critical infrastructure challenge must be met by increased public and private investment in U.S. ports.”

Vital role

Traditional federal infrastructure funding programs are generally not comprehensive enough to support the size and scale of the investments needed at US ports, the group stated.

Despite this, it stressed the “vital” role that ports play in our economy, “serving as the entryway to over 90 percent of America’s trade.”

According to the American Association of Port Authorities, during 2015, US ports supported 23m jobs and generated more than US$321bn in tax revenue.

Meanwhile, underinvestment in ports results in increased prices and lost economic opportunity – as much as tens of billions of US dollars every year, according to corporate public policy group Business Roundtable.

Bolstering security

The group highlights the role that US ports play in national defence and emergency preparedness.

It added: “Your infrastructure package represents a historic opportunity to recalibrate U.S. infrastructure policy to ensure the future success of U.S. ports in a way that is commensurate with their economic and strategic importance.

“Our industry has a long track record of leveraging public investment with significant private dollars, and we stand ready to work with your Administration and Congress to address America’s infrastructure needs.”

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