- Investing in multimodal freight networks is the top priority for the port industry, according to a 9-page briefing delivered to President-elect Trump's transition team by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).
- The AAPA noted ports need at least $20 billion to fund multimodal projects and remain competitive, but current funding from the FAST Act makes only $1.13 billion of the total $11 billion available for such improvements.
- In addition to increasing discretionary funding, the AAPA suggests the administration create an Office for Multimodal Freight Transport, retain and prioritize the harbor maintenance tax, increase customs and security measures and continue to fund port sustainability and resilience projects.
President-elect Trump has promised a $1 trillion boost in infrastructure investments during his administration and everyone wants a piece of the pie. Various associations, including the AAPA, will now try to lobby and persuade the administration to prioritize their needs for federal funding.
Yet in deducting the proposed infrastructure boost over the next ten years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) claims infrastructure will still require at least $440 billion in additional funding to cover needs by 2025. This funding gap would increase to over $4 trillion by 2040.
Of the various types of infrastructure projects, however, ports' needs are the most achievable when measured by dollar value. In contrast to the $15 billion ASCE need estimate for ports and inland waterways, surface transportation, for example, still requires $1.1 trillion to cover its funding gap.
Trump's assignment of an asphalt and rail lobbyist to the transition team could indicate the administration will prioritize "roads and bridges" over other projects. Meanwhile, few details have been provided regarding funding, but Trump has been said to be considering an infrastructure bank and private tax credits to secure the $1 trillion promise.