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News Release
FOR RELEASE - February 27, 2017
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 684-5700

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

Ports Group Welcomes Wilbur Ross as U.S. Commerce Secretary

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the unified and recognized voice of America’s ports – was pleased to learn today that the U.S. Senate has confirmed Wilbur Ross as the nation’s new Secretary of Commerce.  

As commerce secretary, Mr. Ross has oversight over a number of agencies important to ports, including the International Trade Administration, which promotes U.S. trade and investment, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is vital to maritime commerce since its weather service and aids to navigation divisions provide important safety and efficiency programs for mariners.

Remarking on Mr. Ross’ confirmation, AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle said: “We look forward to working with Secretary Ross to enhance America’s international competitiveness and increase U.S. exports. We appreciate that Secretary Ross has said that he favors ‘sensible trade,’ and that being anti-trade ‘is a disadvantage of the American worker and the American manufacturing community.’ AAPA favors reciprocal international trade liberalization on a fair and equitable basis.”

With today’s global marketplace and worldwide supply chain, American manufacturers, farmers and businesses rely on ports more than ever to handle the raw materials and semi-finished components needed for production here in the U.S., and to be able to export their products and enhance their international competitiveness.

For every $1 billion in exports shipped through U.S. seaports, 15,000 jobs are created.

Mr. Nagle added: “During his confirmation hearings, we were also pleased to learn that Mr. Ross voiced support for public investments in transportation, saying there will be some necessity for direct federal spending on transportation, whether it’s in the form of guarantees or direct investment.  As the voice of America’s seaports, AAPA is the leading advocate for increasing federal investment into these vital hubs of international commerce and economic development. Freight connections to U.S. ports – which handle some 2 billion tons of goods, support 23 million American jobs and generate $4.6 trillion in economic activity annually – are falling behind 21st century needs, putting jobs at risk and reducing our global competitiveness.”

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 World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2014 totaled 3.48 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.75 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.68 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.36 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.39 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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