MarAd's Herberger Comments On FY '95 Budget
The following is the statement issued by Mar Ad maritime administrator Albert J. Herberger, regarding the 1995 proposed budget: The Administration's FY 1995 budget requests reflects the President's commitment to maintaining the status of the U.S. as a maritime nation. It moves us a step closer to Secretary Pena's goal of revitalizing America's maritime industry. It also fits into Secretary Pena's Strategic Plan to create a new alliance between the nation's transportation and technology industries to make them both more efficient and internationally competitive.
General parameters of the Administration's Maritime Security Program are outlined in the budget. The program is designed to maintain a modern American merchant fleet, provide sealift for national emergencies and ensure continuing American presence in the transportation of our vast international commerce.
The proposal will foster a modern, competitive American merchant marine at substantially lower costs than the existing program. It seeks to ensure the continued operation of merchant ships under the American flag by skilled American civilian seafarers. It also provides cost-effective supplemental sealift capacity which can be made available when needed to support the nation's armed services.
By identifying a source of revenue to offset program costs, the budget goes beyond previous maritime proposals. An increase in tonnage fees will provide the offset required by budget rules. Legislation to implement the program is being prepared, and will be sent to Congress shortly. I look forward to working with Congress to achieve its enactment, this year.
The budget also supports the President's shipbuilding initiative, through MarAd's Title XI and research and development programs, and through funding of the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency.
It continues to fund other activities of the Maritime Administration which support our mission and Secretary Pena's strategic goals for the Department of Transportation (DOT). I appreciate the support of President Clinton and Secretary Pena for these important efforts.
MarAd's FY '95 Budget Highlights • Maritime Security Program — 10-year, $1 billion program for maritime security payments to about 52 liner vessels in the foreign commercial trade of the U.S.
• Shipbuilding Loans — FY '95 includes $50 million in DOT funds to cover the risk factor costs for Title XI loan guarantees. Over 1995-95, the budget will guarantee about $1.5 billion of shipbuilding in the U.S.
• Ready Reserve Force—No new funds for ship acquisition in 1995, but $118 million in deferred funds from FY '94. Additionally, DoD is expected to allocate $43 million from sealift resources to acquire vessels for the RRF in FY'95. From these combined resources, MarAd expects to buy seven Ro/Ro vessels in FY '95. New budget resources of $250 million for RRF maintenance, operation and facilities.
• U.S. Merchant Marine Academy—Full funding for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
• R&D — FY '95 budget provides for an increase of $1.8 million in the MarAd's research and development program. In addition, funds in the DoD Advanced Research Projects Agency FY '95 budget will enable expansion of MARITECH. This industry- driven, defense conversion initiative program is part of the President's shipbuilding initiative.