AAPA President to Address Need for Increased Federal Funding of Seaport Security & Dredging at Feb. 8 Meeting
Club’s morning "Newsmaker" news conference regarding federal
underfunding of seaport security and Corps of Engineers harbor
and channel dredging.
Tuesday, Feb. 8,
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
President/CEO, American Association of Port Authorities
529 14th Street (14th & F Sts.), NW
13th Floor, Lisagor Room
Funding for seaport security in the
proposed federal budget to be released early this month is expected
to be far below what U.S. public ports need for implementing new,
federally-mandated seaport security programs. While airports receive
most of the federal attention and funding for security/terrorism
prevention, seaports – which support 4 million jobs and annually
handle $2 trillion worth of cargo and more than 7 million cruise
ship passengers – are largely under-funded. As a result, they often
must sacrifice important transportation and economic development
initiatives by diverting scarce state and local funds to pay for
Within the next 15 years, industry
analysts predict the approximately 2 billion tons of cargo that U.S.
ports and waterways handle now each year will double. At that rate,
the volume of trade moving through America’s port facilities will
grow to as much as one-third of the Gross Domestic Product. In
response, seaports across the country are expanding to meet the
increased demand for their services, necessitating huge expenditures
in infrastructure, equipment and personnel.
Unlike private business however,
seaports are public service entities; they can’t simply cut vital
programs and eliminate services to pay for implementing new security
plans, such as mandated by the U.S. Coast Guard regulations in
accordance with the Maritime Transportation Security Act.
Similarly, the Administration’s
proposed FY’06 budget is expected to be well short of what is needed
for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to maintain adequate channel
and harbor depths for America’s shipping industry. The result of
this expected underfunding presents major challenges for public
ports, ocean carriers and their customers to meet the expectations
of the businesses and communities they serve, both from a safety and
an economic perspective. Each year that new dredging projects are
delayed and existing projects go unfinished, it puts our nation at a
competitive disadvantage to export its products overseas and causes
the cost of waterborne imports to go up.
Kurt J. Nagle, President/CEO of the
American Association of Port Authorities, will be on hand to discuss
the economic and security impacts of underfunding the Homeland
Security Administration’s Seaport Security Grants Program and the
Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program.
Mr. Nagle joined AAPA in 1985 as
Director of Membership Services and was promoted in 1987 to Vice
President of Membership Services and Administration and in 1989 to
Senior Vice President. He was named President in September 1995.
Prior to joining AAPA, Mr. Nagle served as Director of International
Trade for the National Coal Association and as Assistant Secretary
of the Coal Exporters Association. Previously, he worked in the
Office of International Economic Research at the U.S. Department of