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News Release
FOR RELEASE - March 26, 2019
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 684-5700

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

AAPA Testifies on USMCA, Jobs at House Ways & Means Subcommittee Hearing

Ports association highlights new US port economic impacts report; endorses USMCA as NAFTA replacement

In testimony today (Tuesday, March 26) before the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the unified and recognized voice of America’s seaports – highlighted a new report showing significant increases over the past five years in U.S. maritime trade and port-related jobs.  At the same time, AAPA urged Congressional approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which the President negotiated to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) currently in place.

In her remarks to the Subcommittee on Trade, AAPA Vice President of Government Relations Susan Monteverde cited statistics from a just-released Martin Associates report on the economic impacts of the U.S. coastal ports system. The report, she said, helps illustrate the extent to which cargo and passengers moving through America’s seaports support the nation’s economy.

The Martin Associates report notes that, between the beginning in 2014 to the end of 2018:

** the total number of jobs supported by cargo moving through U.S. deep-draft ports increased by one-third, from 23.1 million jobs to nearly 31 million U.S. jobs;

** average annual salaries estimated for these jobs rose more than 17 percent, from $53,723 to $62,800, which was 27 percent higher than the average overall U.S. mean salary of $50,620 in 2017, and;

** personal wages and local consumption related to the port-sector increased by more than a quarter, from $1.1 trillion to $1.4 trillion.

“All of these millions of jobs benefit from increased trade, both imports and exports,” said Ms. Monteverde.

The report also cites total economic value that U.S. coastal ports provided in terms of revenue to businesses, personal income and economic output by exporters and importers rose 17 percent in the same 5-year period … from $4.6 trillion to $5.4 trillion. This accounted for nearly 26 percent of the nation’s $20.5 trillion economy in 2018. 

Furthermore, federal, state and local tax revenues generated by port-sector and importer/exporter revenues rose nearly 18 percent, from $321.1 billion to $378.1 billion.

“Seaports serve as gateways to domestic and international trade, connecting large and small U.S. businesses to the expanding global marketplace,” she said. “Our economy and our everyday lives are touched by the products that flow through American ports.  Just think of all the things you touched today that included products that came through seaports.  It might have been the coffee you drank, the banana you ate, the car you drove – both domestic and or imported – to the clothes you’re wearing.  Americans’ everyday life is strongly connected to international trade.”

Recently, AAPA endorsed passage of the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

“Trade with our neighbors in Mexico and Canada is important, and disruption of this trading system should be avoided,” concluded Ms. Monteverde. “The President’s goal in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement to get a better deal for American workers is laudable, as are enforcement concerns of labor. AAPA is concerned, however, that potential trade sanctions imposed on Canada, Mexico or other trading partners like China, and reciprocal actions, could result in significant losses of good-paying U.S. trade-related jobs, including those in the seaport industry. You can help by approving the USMCA and encouraging the President to speed up negotiations with China.”

By agreeing to push for USMCA enactment, AAPA joins other industry leaders, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, in support of the proposed treaty.

About AAPA
Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas, AAPA today represents 130 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 200 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 2017 totaled 4.303 billion metric tons in volume and US$2.675 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.741 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.024 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.90 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.305 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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