Port of Cleveland President & CEO testifies to U.S. Senate committee
Port of Cleveland President and CEO, Will Friedman, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works January 10, as it held a hearing on America’s Water Infrastructure Needs and Challenges. Friedman’s remarks focused on the need to continue regular updates to Water Resources Development Act (WRDA); citing strategic policy areas of emphasis, current water infrastructure issues faced by public ports and recommendations to improve the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers navigation program.
Friedman, also appearing in his role as Chairman-Elect of the U.S. delegation of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), highlighted the critical role that ports and maritime transport play in driving growth and efficiency for the U.S. economy. He urged Congress to include policies that encourage new federal investment in U.S. ports as part of any potential national infrastructure legislation.
“It is imperative that port-related infrastructure be a part of any broad infrastructure investment legislation,” said Friedman, who noted that the Port of Cleveland alone accounts for over $3.5 billion in annual economic activity and supports more than 20,000 jobs. “A significant federal investment would grow the U.S. economy, increase family-wage supporting jobs, enhance America’s international competitiveness and generate additional tax revenues.”
Friedman noted that public ports and their private-sector partners have committed to invest upwards of $155 billion in the next few years. Additionally, over the next 10 years, the AAPA would like to see $66 billion in federal support of the nation’s maritime port-related facilities. Federal investment in these projects would inject momentum and confidence into projects, which would then help further ignite the U.S. economy both short- and long-term.