AAPA Congratulates Chairman DeFazio’s Passage of HMT Full Use Legislation
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the unified and collective voice of America’s seaports, supports H.R. 2440, the Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act, advanced on Oct. 28 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation would enable Congress to appropriate $34 billion over the next decade to restore America’s federal navigation channels to their originally-constructed widths and depths, thereby improving their safety and reliability to handle today’s larger ships and growing trade.
AAPA’s President & CEO, Chris Connor, is grateful to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter De Fazio for his continued leadership to fully use the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) and applauds his vision to support AAPA’s goal on comprehensive reform of the HMT. “Passage of H.R. 2440 is a critical first step to solve the problems with the HMT,” said Mr. Connor. “The legislation will stop the diversion of HMTF payments and provide a means for Congress to spend down the more than $9 billion that has been diverted in previous years.” AAPA thanks all members of the House who voted yes, including those who have long-supported HMT reform including Representative Garrett Graves’ (R-LA) passionate words of support on the House floor.
House passage of this bill is a major milestone towards full Congressional HMT legislation enactment. The next action lies with the Senate, where the Environment and Public Works Committee is anticipated to release initial HMT legislative language in the next few weeks, as part of developing their Water Resources Development Act bill.
AAPA looks forward to working with Congressional leaders to ensure that, prior to implementation of this bill, Congress enacts legislation to address the needs of donor and energy transfer ports and provides funding certainty for emerging harbors and the Great Lakes navigation system. Enactment of yesterday’s legislation coupled with these policy priorities is essential for AAPA’s members.
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. Cargo activities at U.S. seaports account for 26 percent of the U.S. economy, generating nearly $5.4 trillion in total economic activity and more than $378 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2018. To meet the growing demand for trade, AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.