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Port-related funding reduced in Trumps FY2018 budget

News // March 20, 2017

Thee American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) says it is concerned over the potential of significant declines for most federally funded, port-related programmes in President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget.

“We’re apprehensive about the fiscal 2018 budget,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA president and CEO. “Adequate federal investments into US port-related infrastructure, both on the landside and waterside, are crucial for the efficient movement of goods so the nation can remain globally competitive.

"Activities at US seaports account for more than a quarter of the nation’s economy, support over 23 million American jobs and generate more than US$320 billion a year in federal, state and local tax revenue. It’s vital the federal government uphold its end of the partnership with ports so the country can have a 21st century goods movement system in place.”

Proposed for the budget chopping block is the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants programme, which last year awarded US ports US$61.8 million in multimodal infrastructure grants such as dock, rail and road improvements. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grants Program (PSGP), which Congress last funded at US$100 million and which provided 35 port security-related grants in fiscal 2017, is expected to experience a significant cut.

While the president’s proposed budget calls for increasing the overall US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) budget by US$400 million over the previous administration’s request of US$4.6 billion, the request still represents a 16 per cent decrease in the Corps budget when compared to the Continuing Resolution fiscal 2017 level.

Details for the Corps’ Coastal Navigation portion of the budget aren’t yet known, but are expected to be available in May. The Coastal Navigation program funds improvements and maintenance in America’s harbours and deep-draft shipping channels.

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