Release Date: Apr 04, 2003Contact: 888-249-NEWS
Chamber Study Finds U.S. Ports Need Help
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce today called for a national strategy linking the nation's transportation network of ports, roads and railways and urged lawmakers to prioritize security and infrastructure spending measures for this critical aspect of the nation's transportation system.
"Our ports, and the connecting roads and rails, serve as the gateway to the global economy," said Thomas J. Donohue, Chamber President and CEO. "Yet these ports are reaching their maximum capacity and are on the brink of gridlock."
Burdensome regulatory procedures, an aversion to automation and information technology and a failure to move toward a truly integrated system have all delayed much needed improvements, according to a two-year study run by TransSystems Corporation and supported by the National Chamber Foundation and a number of transportation groups.
The U.S. Chamber will use the results of the study in its efforts to persuade members of Congress and local and state lawmakers to strengthen the nation's freight transportation system and pass related transportation spending bills such as TEA-21, AIR-21 and the Water Resources Development Act.
"One-fifth of all the world's imports and exports rely on the U.S. port system," said Donohue. "To keep pace with future demands and to ensure our own economic viability, we must invest in the future of our ports."
Failure to act would imperil the flow of goods in this country, undermine the improved safety and security measures now in place at the nation's waterways and slow the economic growth that increased trade would bring about. In addition, infrastructure upgrades would be of vital importance to the military establishment, which depends on the nation's ports for personnel deployment and supply movement.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector and region.