H.R. 8, the 2018 Water Resources Development Act, will streamline product delivery
In voicing support today for the U.S. House of Representatives passing H.R. 8, which is its version of the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) … the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas … hailed this legislation as providing policy revisions to improve and streamline product delivery in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ navigation program.
“By approving WRDA 2018 today by a vote of 408 to 2, we commend the House of Representatives for helping ensure that crucial water resources legislation is addressed and passed by Congress on an every-two-year basis,” said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle. “The House bill passed today continues the trend of streamlining maritime infrastructure improvements by expediting evaluations, enabling timely decisions and providing greater funding flexibilities, as well as authorizing new projects.”
“Looking ahead,” he continued, “we will continue working with both chambers of Congress to include additional provisions to WRDA 2018 to ensure that all of the federal harbor maintenance taxes collected are fully spent each year so there’s continued availability and competitiveness of our nation’s harbors.”
Recently, AAPA’s U.S.-member port authorities reached a long-term industry agreement on the future spending of federal harbor maintenance taxes, which are levied on the value of seaborne imports into the U.S. and on domestic, port-to-port transfers of cargo. Implementing AAPA’s industry agreement will provide economic and jobs benefits to ports nationwide, and help drive the economy forward.
“Our long-term solution for harbor maintenance tax spending,” said Mr. Nagle, “fixes the inequities in our current system while addressing the health and well-being of our seaport water highways that are critical for delivering goods and services to all Americans. We’ll continue urging Congress to include this agreement prior to WRDA 2018 being enacted.”
Cargo activities at America’s seaports are significant drivers of the U.S. economy, supporting more than 23 million American jobs and generating over $320 billion in annual federal, state and local taxes. All but 1 percent of the nation’s overseas trade moves through its maritime facilities, and U.S. seaport cargo activities account for more than one-quarter of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
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