Following the lead of the highway, airline and transit industries, the American Association of Port Authorities is asking the government for $6.8 billion from the Economic Recovery Package. AAPA has tabbed the money for harbor maintenance and says its members have 153 projects from the Port of Anchorage to Port Canaveral that they say would create 250,000 jobs.
Kurt Nagle, president of the AAPA, said the trade will move somewhere else if our infrastructure can't handle it. Nagle said one-third of the United States' economic growth is from exports, but that number could be higher if the ports were maintained to adequate depths.
"The 59 largest ports in the country are kept at their adequate depths only 39% of the time," Nagle said. "The result is that facilities are forced to request lighter cargo loads or divert larger ships that could run aground. The increased cost to run more ships with smaller loads ripples through the economy straight to the consumer."