The nation's largest port group says it is disappointed in Obama administration budget proposals that would leave security and port maintenance programs without needed funding.
The American Association of Port Authorities expressed concern over a 10 percent cut in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works program and a 25 percent reduction in the federal port security grant program.
"Competitive, secure, navigable seaports are vital to the U.S. economy," said AAPA President Kurt Nagle.
In addition, the $767 million proposed to be drawn from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund next year to pay for maintenance dredging represents a reduction of 4.1 percent over last year's congressionally-approved amount, AAPA said.
Since importers and domestic shippers pay more than double this amount into the trust fund annually to pay for maintenance dredging, Nagle urged “that the annual Harbor Maintenance Tax revenues that are collected specifically for maintenance dredging be fully used for this purpose only.”
The administration's budget request includes no funding for the America's Marine Highway Program, which Congress authorized last year and the administration supported.
Contact Thomas L. Gallagher at email@example.com.