|New legislation signed into law by President Obama will secure funding for key infrastructure needs at U.S. maritime ports.|
A bill recently signed into law by President Obama will help support thousands of IAM jobs by addressing the infrastructure needs of vital U.S. maritime ports.
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act, H.R. 3080, supported by the IAM Seaway Task Force (STF) and the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF), addresses how funds collected from importers and domestic shippers are used after being placed in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF).
The HMTF was designed to support much needed waterway infrastructure needs, including dredging in ports that cannot currently support newer and bigger ships, however, the fund has long been used for uses other than its intended purpose.
“The Eastern Territory is heavily invested in the Great Lakes, shipbuilding and many other support industries,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Lynn Tucker, Jr. “Directing and using these funds where they were intended is key to the survival of not just the Great Lakes, but all of America’s waterways. While the GLMTF and others have worked hard to reach this point, the IAM and our members were the missing ingredient, and led the way to this successful outcome.”
U.S. ports and waterways are essential – 99 percent of goods the United States trades, sells and imports around the world go through U.S. ports, representing $1.4 trillion of goods every year.
“This is a strategic investment,” said Tucker. “It will help increase U.S. competitiveness while improving our infrastructure. Now the real job starts, turning this into good shipping and shipbuilding jobs for working families and the underemployed.”