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News Release
FOR RELEASE - February 14, 2022
Contact: Stephanie Casella, scasella@aapa-ports.org

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (703) 684-5700
www.aapa-ports.org

U.S. Port Authorities Endorse Senate Bill on Shipping on Cusp of Largest Ever Federal Investment in Port Infrastructure

Ports calling for significant and sustained federal investment.

Washington, D.C. – Today, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) endorsed the Klobuchar-Thune bill (U.S. Senate) on Ocean Shipping (S.3580) by a vote of the industry’s legislative policy council.

The Klobuchar-Thune bill would increase Federal Maritime Commission's (FMC) enforcement of ocean shipping while preserving ‘fluidity charges’ that prompt cargo owners to keep their goods from piling up on severely limited terminal space.

AAPA — the unified voice of seaports in the Americas — represents eighty deep-draft U.S. ports, which indirectly support over one-quarter of U.S. GDP and 31 million jobs.

The following is attributable to AAPA’s President and CEO, Chris Connor:

"U.S. ports are moving more goods than ever — to foreign markets, to American homes, to American businesses.

As shovels start hitting the ground for port capacity expansion, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Klobuchar-Thune bill will further help the system by prioritizing cargo fluidity and increasing access for American businesses and consumers.

The pandemic has laid bare the need for a transport system to be able to surge and stretch — across all links, from sea, to land, to rail, to warehouse, to consumer. Incentives like fluidity charges keep cargo from piling up on the proverbial ‘baggage carousel.’ These fluidity charges are 100 percent proven to decrease the long-dwelling cargo at ports, which was a major cause of congestion during the early stages of the pile-ups. We look forward to seeing this bill through the mark up process, and to both the strengthening of fluidity provisions and putting Federal investment dollars to their highest use."

Signs continue to flash positive for an untangling of international supply chains, especially for American retail and American agriculture. Ports, terminal operators, carriers, and longshore workers have been working around the clock to keep clearing cargo, including through the use of expanded gate hours and emergency ‘sweeper ships.’

In the longer term, America’s trade infrastructure will need sustained investments greater than those in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — hundreds of billions of dollars for maritime infrastructure alone — to keep up with the growth in trade that drives American prosperity.

About AAPA

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) is the unified voice of port leaders and maritime industry partners across the Western Hemisphere who serve a vital role in job-creation, international competitiveness and economic prosperity. Connecting small business owners, retailers and manufacturers to the global marketplace, AAPA member organizations sustain 31 million jobs and 26 percent of the U.S. economy, and advocate for national policies and infrastructure investments in support of a resilient global supply chain and a positive impact on the way people live, work, travel and engage in commerce. Visit www.aapa-ports.org or on Twitter @PortsUnited.

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