AAPA Statement In Response To 2018 WRDA Legislation Markups
The following statement was released today by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) in response to 2018 Water Resources Development Act legislation being marked up this week by committees in both chambers of Congress:
“We’re pleased to see the House and Senate committees this week approving their versions of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) that authorizes water resources projects and makes important programmatic efficiency improvements. This is a positive step that addresses the President’s call for nationwide infrastructure improvements.
“We thank Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Chair John Barrasso (R-WY) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE), Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Chair Jim Inholfe (D-OK) and Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD), House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chair Garret Graves (R-LA) and Ranking Member Grace Napolitano (D-CA) for their leadership on enacting WRDA this year and for addressing several AAPA-sought improvements in their bills.
“However, it’s critical that WRDA legislation also includes the details of a unique agreement reached among the nation’s major ports that provides equity and fairness regarding the allocation of the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT), a crucial funding source that continues to enable national economic growth and keep U.S. ports viable in the global marketplace.
“With a quarter of the nation’s GDP and more than 23 million American jobs dependent on well-maintained ports, we’re hopeful that this week’s markup of WRDA in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will result in legislation that guarantees full use of the HMT by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“We’re particularly grateful to Representative DeFazio for his leadership on full use of the HMT, as well as Representatives Napolitano and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) for their supportive comments of the AAPA agreement in the House markup of the bill today and encouragement for the Committee to continue to work with AAPA to advance our members’ priorities as the legislation moves to the floor. We’ll continue to work closely with Congress to ensure that AAPA’s long-term funding solution is included in the final legislation.”
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 www.aapa-ports.org. On Twitter: http://twitter.com/AAPA_Seaports