AAPA Apprehensive About Budget
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) said in their latest release that they have welcomed support in President Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget for two vital U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) competitive infrastructure grant initiatives, known as BUILD and INFRA.
The association also registered strong concerns over significant declines to other federally funded, port-related programs when compared against this year’s appropriation funding levels.
“We’re very apprehensive about the President’s fiscal 2021 budget,” said Chris Connor, AAPA president and CEO. “Adequate federal investments into U.S. port-related infrastructure, on the landside and the waterside, are crucial for the safe, efficient movement of goods so the nation can remain globally competitive, and this budget doesn’t get us there.”
In a 2016 survey, AAPA found that U.S. ports and their private-sector partners planned to spend approximately $31 billion a year through 2020, provided the infrastructure outside the ports’ jurisdiction, such as roads, rails, bridges, tunnels and navigation channels, would support those investments.
“Activities at U.S. seaports account for more than a quarter of the nation’s economy, support over 31 million American jobs and generate more than $378 billion a year in federal, state and local tax revenue. It’s vital the federal government uphold its end of the partnership with ports to ensure the country has a 21st century goods movement system in place,” added Connor.
Led by a 20 percent increase in construction funding, the President’s FY’21 budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers coastal navigation program would rise 10 percent compared to his FY’20 budget request, said AAPA.