AAPA Port Members Testify On Crumbling Infrastructure
Inadequate Connections to Seaports Cause Congestion and Slow the Movement of Trade
Members of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) testified yesterday at a United States House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee hearing that congestion on our nation's highways is costing Americans billions of dollars in wasted fuel and time. They emphasized that congestion caused by inadequate road infrastructure and inefficient connectivity in the face of growing trade volumes has a huge impact on our ability to move goods into and out of the United States.
America's seaports are the critical link for access to the global marketplace and therefore depend on an efficient highway transportation system to allow U.S. farmers and manufacturers to sell their goods outside of the United States. According to AAPA President Kurt Nagle, "Improving access to seaport facilities is critical for the efficient movement of cargo, for reducing traffic congestion and emissions, and overall quality of life."
If the U.S. is to meet trade demands and address goals like the Obama Administration's initiative to double exports in the next five years, there must be a significant federal investment in freight transportation infrastructure including connections to seaports to make this a reality. Exports such as Midwest soybeans, Northwest wheat and Eastern coal, depend on our nation's seaports to reach their markets.
AAPA has been working with key policymakers to pursue a comprehensive platform of priorities for surface transportation reauthorization that will address intermodal connections and support the growing demands of international trade. As part of these efforts, we are pleased to have Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, provide the keynote luncheon address, and speaker Larry L. "Butch" Brown, chairman of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, participate in AAPA's upcoming Spring Conference (March 23).
We are also delighted that AAPA members have been asked to testify at a Senate Finance Subcommittee hearing on the issue of congestion around seaports and capacity constraints on U.S. exports in the coming week.