Senators Murray, Cantwell Secure Wins for Ports of Seattle, Tacoma

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Saturday, May 17, 2014
U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell

 

U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) yesterday announced that a critical provision they authored to reform the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) and significantly benefit the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma was included in the bipartisan, bicameral deal on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) released in the afternoon.  As “donor ports,” the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma currently receive just pennies for each dollar they contribute to the HMTF through collected shipping taxes, while other ports around the country disproportionately receive millions more.

The provision included in the WRRDA deal today reforms the HMTF, for the first time in history to address the system’s inequities towards “donor ports” and cargo diversion by authorizing $25 million for “donor ports” to use for port infrastructure improvements and rebates to importers and shippers in order to even the playing field for the Ports of Seattle, Tacoma, and others.

The provision included in WRRDA builds on existing efforts from Senators Murray and Cantwell to overhaul the outdated Harbor Maintenance Tax and Trust Fund and keep American ports like Seattle and Tacoma, who currently see millions of dollars in shipments each year diverted to ports in Canada and Mexico, competitive in the global marketplace.  In September of 2013, Murray and
Cantwell introduced the Maritime Goods Movement Act for the 21st Century, which would repeal the Harbor Maintenance Tax and replace it with the Maritime Goods Movement User Fee, nearly doubling the amount of funds available for American ports and allocating these funds fully and more equitably to better meet our nation’s harbor and waterway needs. The legislation would also ensure that shippers cannot avoid the Maritime Goods Movement User Fee by using ports in Canada and Mexico.

“The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma are critical to Washington state’s economy, but under our current tax laws, they are cheated out of millions of dollars in revenue they need to improve their infrastructure, compete in the global maritime economy, and attract shipments that are currently diverting to ports in Canada and Mexico,” said Senator Murray.  “While the provision we secured in this deal doesn’t completely fix the broken system that’s hurting our ports, it’s a critical step forward for the economy in Washington state and the entire Pacific Northwest.”

“In Washington state, our ports are hubs for job growth and economic development,” said Senator Cantwell. “The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma support more 200,000 jobs. But these ports are under threat. 27 percent of international container cargo is at risk of diversion to Canada or Mexico from four West Coast ports. Our provision would help level the playing field for Washington ports and support the jobs that depend on them.”

“The Port of Seattle is thankful to have champions for maritime related jobs in Washington, D.C. With Senators Murray and Cantwell’s leadership and with support from partners in Washington’s delegation, Congress has finally passed a law to help prevent cargo diversion and level the playingfield for our region,” said Port of Seattle Commission Co-President Courtney Gregoire.

“For nearly three decades the U.S. tax code has put Puget Sound ports at a competitive disadvantage relative to other ports in North America. For the first time in the history of the Harbor Maintenance Tax, the needs of natural deep water harbors like the Port of Tacoma—which have received little to no benefit from the tax—have been acknowledged.  We want to thank Senators Murray and Cantwell for making this happen,” said Port of Tacoma Commissioner Clare Petrich.

 

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

Cargill: 50,000T of Sugar Affected by Brazil Fire

Approximately 50,000 tonnes of sugar were stored in a warehouse affected by fire in the Teag terminal in Brazil on Monday, Cargill Inc said in a statement. The terminal,

GAO: Ending Crude Export Ban Could Ease 'Price at the Pump'

As the energy profile of the U.S. continues to improve and evolve daily, fresh debate in favor of exporting oil and gas products -- which would have a significant impact on the U.

'New Tango' Brings More Post-Panamax Ships to Charleston

New service expands Port of Charleston's capacity to serve North-South trade The SC Ports Authority today received the first ship call of a new consolidated

Finance

Nordic American Offshore Declares Dividend

Nordic American Offshore Ltd. today announced that its board of directors has declared a dividend of $0.45 per common share for the third quarter 2014. This is the same as for the second quarter 2014.

Bollore Africa Logistics Sees Profit Plunge in H1

First half 2014 profit at shipping company Bollore Africa Logistics plunged to 5.89 billion CFA francs ($11.48 million) from 9.45 billion CFA francs in the same period last year,

Maduro Says Venezuela's 2015 Budget to Put Oil at $60

Venezuela's 2015 budget will be based on a target oil price of $60 dollars per barrel, President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday night, but he repeated expectations that prices will recover.

News

Nordic American Offshore Declares Dividend

Nordic American Offshore Ltd. today announced that its board of directors has declared a dividend of $0.45 per common share for the third quarter 2014. This is the same as for the second quarter 2014.

Missouri River Basin is Booming

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Basin Water Management Division is maintaining above normal releases at the four lower dams on the Missouri River.

Bollore Africa Logistics Sees Profit Plunge in H1

First half 2014 profit at shipping company Bollore Africa Logistics plunged to 5.89 billion CFA francs ($11.48 million) from 9.45 billion CFA francs in the same period last year,

People in the News

Frontline appoints Macleod as new CEO

Crude oil tanker firm Frontline, part of shipping tycoon John Fredriksen's business empire, appointed Robert Hvide Macleod as chief executive to replace Jens Martin Jensen, the firm said on Monday.

Saudi Oil Pipeline Set Alight

A "limited fire" broke out on a subsidiary oil pipeline in eastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday after assailants fired shots at a security patrol, the state news agency SPA said.

Maduro Says Venezuela's 2015 Budget to Put Oil at $60

Venezuela's 2015 budget will be based on a target oil price of $60 dollars per barrel, President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday night, but he repeated expectations that prices will recover.

Intermodal

Philippines Approves $3.7 bln worth of new PPP projects

Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Friday gave authorities the go-ahead to offer for tender 165.6 billion pesos ($3.7 billion) worth of new infrastructure projects

Maersk to Bump Asia-Europe Rates

Container shipping company Maersk Line, a unit of Danish conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk , plans to raise freight rates sharply on main routes from ports in Asia to ports in northern Europe,

BG Group wins EXXON LNG Cargo

ExxonMobil's Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project has awarded a November cargo to BG Group as part of a two-cargo tender that closed this week, two traders said.

 
 
Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2063 sec (5 req/sec)