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News Release
FOR RELEASE - March 30, 2017
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 684-5700

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033

US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Majority Whip Steve Scalise To Headline AAPA ’17 Spring Conference

Annual ports event to showcase value, needs of Western Hemisphere


US Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA)
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao U.S. Congressman & House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.)

U.S. Congressman and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao will serve as keynote luncheon speakers on April 4 and April 5, respectively, as part of the 2017 Spring Conference of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas.

In addition to the two keynote addresses and honoring Cong. Scalise with AAPA’s 2017 Port Person of the Year award, Adam Goldstein, president & COO of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, will present remarks after receiving AAPA’s 2017 Cruise Award on April 5, while other dignitaries, including House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Chairman Garret Graves (R-La.), will discuss how port priorities will stack up under the Trump Administration and in the 115th Congress.

“AAPA’s Washington, D.C. Spring Conference is an annual occasion for government officials, policy influencers, port authority CEOs and their senior staff from ports throughout the hemisphere, together with a host of maritime industry leaders and subject matter experts, to come together in one place to collaborate on key industry issues and participate in a unique, three day program focusing on ports,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO.  “In addition to the honor of having Secretary Chao and Congressman Scalise serve as our keynote speakers and kicking off the event with a celebration of the second annual Western Hemisphere Ports Day, we’re looking forward to the many informative and provocative discussions at this year’s program.”

Western Hemisphere Ports Day – this year being celebrated on April 4 – is an annual recognition of the unity, importance and value of seaports throughout the Americas.

Other aspects of the conference include a session titled The Politics of Trade and Pressures on the Supply Chain that will feature Bill Lane, former director of global government affairs for Caterpillar Inc., and Andrew Penfold, global maritime director for WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff in London.  Two panels comprised of port CEOs and senior level port executives will also highlight a session titled Success Stories in Port Planning and Development.  A special session on using technology to stake out a leadership position in the port industry will feature perspectives from panelists in both the public and private sectors.

For more information about AAPA’s 2017 Spring Conference agenda and speakers, click here.

WHO: Hosted by American Association of Port Authorities and co-sponsored by WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff, Boyden Global Executive Search, Hall Engineering, Saul Ewing, LLP, and the Port of Long Beach.
WHAT: AAPA’s 2017 Spring Conference event
WHEN: Tuesday and Wednesday, April 4-5. On the final day, April 6, conference registrants will gather for organized Capitol Hill office visits.
WHERE: Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel, 999 Ninth Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
MEDIA: Professional journalists representing bona-fide media outlets may register for complimentary access to open business sessions (April 4, 12:30pm – 4:45pm and April 5, 8:30am – 4:30pm) by emailing Aaron Ellis at  and requesting a media badge.

About AAPA
Founded in 1912, AAPA today represents 140 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 250 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. According to IHS Inc. - World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2015 totaled 3.45 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.36 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.69 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.15 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.76 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.21 trillion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.  For more information, visit On Twitter:

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