Government shutdown hangs over US ports

The AAPA is advising members on what a government shutdown might mean for ports Photo: wikimedia The AAPA is advising members on what a government shutdown might mean for ports Photo: wikimedia

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has warned US member ports what to expect in the event of a government shutdown.

Leaders in Washington are working to prevent a shutdown with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introducing a bill to continue funding government services which the president will need to ratify before Friday’s deadline.

However, the AAPA has learned that the continuing resolution does not include Senator Richard Shelby’s proposal to take full use spending of future Harbour Maintenance Tax (HMT) revenues out from under the traditional appropriations budget caps and the AAPA will continue to push for a unified package of HMT reforms in next year’s congress.

Departments and agencies on which ports depend that could shut down include the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and US Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection; Department of Agriculture; Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Department of Housing and Urban Development; Department of Interior; Department of Justice; Department of State; Department of Transportation; Department of Treasury and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Any agency funded through annual appropriations or the general fund will be shut down. As in the past, DHS inspections and any safety or emergency programmes of government agencies, including the Coast Guard, are expected to continue to function.

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