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News Release
FOR RELEASE - March 7, 2018
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 684-5700

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

AAPA Spring Conference to Showcase Value, Needs of Western Hemisphere Ports

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn to receive AAPA ‘Port Person of the Year’ Award on March 21

High-ranking government officials, public policy influencers, CEOs and leaders from port authorities throughout the Western Hemisphere, along with a host of maritime industry leaders will converge on Washington, D.C., March 20-21, to participate in the 2018 Spring Conference of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas.

Among the conference highlights will be presentation of the 2018 “Port Person of the Year” award to U.S. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX); a keynote luncheon address by U.S. Representative Garret Graves (R-LA), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment; and policy presentations by Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, the Honorable David MacNaughton, and by Richard Balzano, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration.

Paul Bingham, with Hackett Associates, will provide the March 20 luncheon presentation, titled World Economic and Trade Outlook Under Changes in Trade Policies.

A session called Perception vs. Reality on Trade will feature the perspectives of trade experts from a variety of industry sectors.  Panelists include Evelyn M. Suarez, with The Suarez Firm; Bruce Stokes, with Pew Research Center; Yuri Unno, with Toyota Motor North America, Inc.; Julia K. Hughes, with the U.S. Fashion Industry Association; and Brian Kuehl of Farmers for Free Trade. In another session, The Future of the Workforce, panelists will discuss port industry workforce challenges and possible solutions.  The business program will conclude on March 21 with panels addressing prospects for infrastructure and water resources legislation in this year’s Congress. 

The following day, AAPA will lead a delegation of U.S. port authority members who will travel to Capitol Hill to advocate on a host of issues important to their ports.

“This year’s Spring Conference is going to be extraordinary, with key business, port and government officials, along with top subject matter experts, delving into issues that are making national and international news.  We’re particularly pleased to have Senator Cornyn join us for this year’s event to recognize his leadership, and support for, public ports,” said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle.

For more information about AAPA’s 2018 Spring Conference agenda and speakers, click here.

WHO: Hosted by American Association of Port Authorities and co-sponsored by WSP, Odgers Berndtson, Hall Engineering, Saul Ewing, Arnstein & Lehr LLP, DHI, McGard, and the Port of Valparaiso, host of the AAPA 2018 Annual Convention.
WHAT: AAPA’s 2018 Spring Conference event

Tuesday and Wednesday, March 20-21, 2018

WHERE: Westin Washington DC City Center Hotel, 1400 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
MEDIA: Professional journalists representing bona-fide media outlets may register for complimentary access to open business sessions (March 20, 12:30pm – 4:15pm and March 21, 8:30am – 4:30pm) by emailing Aaron Ellis at  and requesting a media badge.

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 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:

Port Name: American Association of Port Authorities

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