AAPA Responds to Trump's SOTU Address
In his first State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress, President Donald Trump called on Congress to pass an infrastructure bill that generates $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments and streamlines permitting for major capital projects from 10 to two years, or possibly less.
In his focus on America’s “crumbling infrastructure,” the President placed a heavy emphasis on safe, reliable, modern transportation infrastructure, including roads, bridges, highways, railways and waterways.
The President also talked about two other issues important to ports: international trade deals, and investing in workforce development and training. Ports are hubs for international trade, and fair trade agreements are critical to America’s economic prosperity and competitiveness. Also critical is making investments in workforce development and training. These investments are key to the success of ports and the entire maritime sector, which are in need of skilled labor and trained professionals.
Following the State of the Union address, American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) President and CEO Kurt Nagle remarked:
“AAPA is looking forward with great anticipation to an infrastructure package this year that focuses on America’s transportation investment needs, particularly for freight movement. We’re pleased to hear the President is recommending a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package. It’s reassuring to see that the President recognizes the importance of investing in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.
“Seaport cargo activity accounts for 26 percent of U.S. GDP, over 23 million American jobs, and generates over $320 billion annually in federal, state and local tax revenues. To ensure these jobs, tax revenues and freight volumes continue to grow and support the American economy, AAPA has worked with its member ports to identify $66 billion in federal port-related infrastructure investments over the next 10 years, on both the waterside and the landside. These federal investments are necessary to supplement the approximately $155 billion in capital improvements that U.S. port authorities and their private-sector partners are planning between 2016 and 2020.
“Ports serve as economic engines and vital freight gateways to the global marketplace for American farmers, manufacturers and consumers, and serve as critical infrastructure for the U.S. military in any deployment overseas. We’re particularly pleased the President focused on transportation infrastructure in his State of the Union speech, which helps draw further attention to the value that a 21st century transportation system, and by extension, ports, provides the nation. His speech also reinforces what AAPA is stressing to both the Administration and Congress … that efficient waterside and landside connections to ports must be a top priority in any broad federal infrastructure package that we’re optimistic will be advanced this year.”