New Congressional group to support port security

Monday, October 31, 2011

WASHINGTON—Two members of Congress last week created a new bipartisan caucus to promote the growth and security of the United States' 350 commercial sea and river ports.

Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA) and Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) announced on Oct. 25 the formation of the bipartisan House Ports Opportunity, Renewal, Trade, and Security (PORTS) Caucus, according to a press release. U.S. ports support 13.3 million jobs and account for $3.15 trillion in business activity to the economy.

“Promoting and protecting our nation’s ports is critical to both national security and economic security,” Rep. Poe said in a statement. “Ports are the gateway in and out of the United States. They are our country’s link to the rest of the world and the global economy.”

The United States is home to more than 350 commercial sea and river ports that support 3,200 cargo and passenger handling facilities, according to the release. Each day, U.S. ports move both imports and exports totaling some $3.8 billion worth of goods through all 50 states. Additionally, ports move 99.4 percent of overseas cargo volume by weight and generate $3.95 trillion in international trade.

“Ports are a critical piece of our nation's economic infrastructure,” Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said in a statement. “Maintaining secure, reliable and efficient seaports will generate much needed jobs and make American businesses more competitive abroad.”