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News Release
FOR RELEASE - February 6, 2019
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 684-5700

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

AAPA Statement In Response To President Trump’s 2019 SOTU

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) … the unified and recognized voice of America’s seaports … was pleased that President Donald Trump, last night in his second State of the Union speech, asked Congress to address issues of concern to the U.S. seaport industry. 

President Trump called “for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure,” for securing America’s borders and international ports of entry, including those at seaports, and for negotiating new trade treaties with countries like China that would end unfair trade practices.

Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO, remarked: “We were pleased to hear one of the President’s priorities is to improve the nation’s decaying infrastructure. AAPA looks forward with great anticipation to an infrastructure package this year that focuses on America’s transportation investment needs, including land and waterside connections to ports. We’re also hopeful for legislation that includes AAPA’s long-term funding solution to end the decades-old dilemma of Harbor Maintenance Tax underspending and inequitable funds distribution.

“We were reassured by the President’s commitment to boost security at America’s international borders and ports of entry. This includes seaports, which critically need hundreds more Customs and Border Protection officers to inspect and clear international cargo and cruise passengers. This is consistent with the results found in our newly-published port security infrastructure report, The State of Freight IV. In addition, AAPA was encouraged by the President’s statement to address the issue of human trafficking, which is another concern of ports.

“Finally, the President mentioned the importance of protecting American jobs and boosting economic output in negotiating fair and equitable trade pacts with our international trading partners. Because seaports are on the frontlines of the current uncertainties surrounding U.S. trade policy, it’s important to recognize that exports and imports are good for our national economy and actions that would inhibit international trade could have sizeable negative repercussions on American businesses and jobs.”

About AAPA
Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas, 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 Markit’s World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2016 totaled 3.49 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.01 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.71 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$941 billion, while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.07 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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