Alexandria, VA — the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)—the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas—today is commending leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment for passing H.R. 5303, the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016. This is crucial legislation to address the needs of America’s ports and other water resources infrastructure, and help strengthen the nation’s economic competitiveness.
According to AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle, among the most important aspects of this legislation is that it puts WRDA back on an every-two-year cycle, avoiding a backlog of projects and adopting policy changes to make the system work more efficiently and fairly. He cited House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), T&I Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), T&I Committee Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Chairman Robert Gibbs (R-OH) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Grace Napolitano (D-CA) for their leadership in bringing this important bill up for consideration this session.
“Ensuring the viability and effectiveness of our nation’s deep-draft navigation infrastructure is fundamental to a sound economy,” said Mr. Nagle. “WRDA 2016 helps do that by getting Congress back to the business of regularly addressing the needs of our ports and other waterway infrastructure.
"The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014 was historic in that it put our industry and nation on a path towards full use of the Harbor Maintenance Tax, which is essential to maintain a world-class 21st century port navigation system and providing more donor equity. WRDA 2016 can continue that progress, and we urge both the House and Senate to bring their respective WRDA bills to the floor as soon as possible to ensure final legislation is enacted this year.”
Founded in 1912, 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 World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2014 totaled 3.48 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.75 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.68 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.36 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.39 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.