Last Friday night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes over $5 billion exclusively for port programs and an additional $27 billion of funds eligible to ports. Funding in this bill is spread over five years. AAPA is thankful for the hard work of lawmakers, port leaders and transportation industry partners, as well as our Ports United Infrastructure Task Force for their input and help along the way. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law quickly.
On Wednesday afternoon, President Biden visited the Port of Baltimore following the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684). President Biden’s use of a U.S. seaport as the backdrop for the very first stop on his celebration tour reflects the importance of ports in our global economy, as well as the cruciality of this key legislation for ports.
This Federal legislation is a success for maritime ports across the United States. The effects of this more than $5.2 billion in direct funding for seaports will bolster programs like the Port Infrastructure and Development Program (PIDP), which will fund port equipment and facilities improvements; the Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Navigation Program, which will dredge and maintain Federal coastal navigation channels; and initiatives like Marine Highways funding, on- and near-dock rail infrastructure and safety funding, and emissions reduction upgrades – are just some of the benefits of this infrastructure bill.
AAPA and its members applaud Congressional champions of the two-year-old PIDP grant program, including Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Susan Collins (R-ME), along with Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Sam Graves (R-MO), David Price (D-NC), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL). The bipartisan support for port funding is critical to keeping freight infrastructure working for all Americans, no matter the party, state or region.