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The provision included in WRRDA builds on existing efforts from Senators Murray and Cantwell to overhaul the outdated Harbor Maintenance Tax and Trust Fund and keep American ports like Seattle and Tacoma, who currently see millions of dollars in shipments each year diverted to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 October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Third Strike, Mansour Is Out

The M/V "MANSOUR M" with IMO number 7600586 has been banned for the 3rd time after subsequent detentions after the second refusal of access order in the Paris MoU region.

New Company Takes Over OW Tanker

OW Tanker, a unit of bankrupt OW Bunker and owner of its marine fuel supply ships, has been taken over by a newly-created company, the fleet manager told Reuters on Wednesday.

WRRDA: Clearing the Channel for P3 Projects

A Creative Combination for Financing Inland Waterways Infrastructure Earlier this year, the U.S. maritime industry in general, and the inland waterways industry in particular,

Finance

New Company Takes Over OW Tanker

OW Tanker, a unit of bankrupt OW Bunker and owner of its marine fuel supply ships, has been taken over by a newly-created company, the fleet manager told Reuters on Wednesday.

WRRDA: Clearing the Channel for P3 Projects

A Creative Combination for Financing Inland Waterways Infrastructure Earlier this year, the U.S. maritime industry in general, and the inland waterways industry in particular,

Choosing the Best Financing Proposal

It isn’t always about the rate. In a robust boatbuilding market – like the one we see now – even the most successful, financially stable operators need to borrow.

News

USCG Suspend Search for Crabber Near Anacortes, Wash.

The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a crabber reported overdue near Anacortes, Wednesday. Dean Harvey, 48, of Bremerton, remains missing. Search

Third Strike, Mansour Is Out

The M/V "MANSOUR M" with IMO number 7600586 has been banned for the 3rd time after subsequent detentions after the second refusal of access order in the Paris MoU region.

MHI Completes Development of "Sayaringo STaGE"

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has completed development of the "Sayaringo STaGE," a next-generation LNG (liquefied natural gas) carrier. The Sayaringo

People in the News

USCG Suspend Search for Crabber Near Anacortes, Wash.

The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a crabber reported overdue near Anacortes, Wednesday. Dean Harvey, 48, of Bremerton, remains missing. Search

NAVCENT Commander Recognizes Journey of Hope Sailors

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, Vice Adm. John. W. Miller, recognized the accomplishments of three special-needs sailors from the Kuwaiti ship,

NYK Holds 8th Environmental Management Conference

NYK welcomed about 60 environmental supervisors from 47 NYK Group companies to the group’s annual Environmental Management Conference in Tokyo. NYK holds this

Intermodal

Gazprom to Partner Turkey to Supply Gas

Moscow hosted today a working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Taner Yildiz, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Turkey.

Massive LNG Absorber Shipped to Malaysia

Successful transport of 1,480t absorber for biggest LNG plant worldwide in Malaysia.   1,480 tons and a high center of gravity made the transport of an absorber

Matson Raises 2015 Westbound Hawaii Box Rates

Matson, Inc., a U.S. carrier in the Pacific, announced that Matson Navigation Company, Inc. (Matson) will raise its rates for the company's Hawaii service by $225

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
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: 0.2472 sec (4 req/sec)