Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bipartisan Legislative Caucus Formed to Focus on Nation's Ports

Southern California Congresswoman Janice Hahn (D) and Texas Congressman Ted Poe (R) announced Tuesday the formation of the bipartisan House Ports Opportunity, Renewal, Trade, and Security (PORTS) Caucus.

According to the two House members, the mission of the legislative caucus will be to promote the important role played by the nation's ports in the national economy and the need to secure them.

United States ports support 13.3 million jobs and account for $3.15 trillion in business activity to the economy.

“As a long-time advocate for the Port of Los Angeles, I understand how vital the ports are for our nation’s economy,” Rep. Hahn said. “This bipartisan caucus will bring together Members who represent diverse ports across the country, so we will find ways together to promote our ports and keep them safe.”

Rep. Poe said that promoting and protecting the nation’s ports is critical to both national security and economic security.

“Ports are the gateway in and out of the United States. They are our country’s link to the rest of the world and the global economy. I look forward to working with Representative Hahn to building an effective congressional caucus that advocates on the behalf of ports nationwide,” Poe said.

Hahn and Poe pointed out that the US is served by more than 350 commercial sea and river ports that support 3,200 cargo and passenger handling facilities. Every day 15 seaports serve all 50 states moving both imports and exports totaling some $3.8 billion worth of goods. Additionally, ports move 99.4 percent of overseas cargo volume by weight and generate $3.95 trillion in international trade.

Given the importance of ports to our national economy, Hahn and Poe said, the nation's ports need to remain competitive and secure.

“Ports are a critical piece of our nation's economic infrastructure,” Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles Geraldine Knatz said.

“Maintaining secure, reliable and efficient seaports will generate much needed jobs and make American businesses more competitive abroad. Because our nation’s seaports must remain a national priority, we stand ready to support Rep. Hahn and Rep. Poe’s efforts to advance the issues of ports and the communities they serve.”