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John McCloud is editor of Industry Property Journal, from which this article is excerpted.

Washington, DC—US ports and waterways handle more than two billion tons of domestic and import/export cargo annually. But many of the nation’s federal navigation channels are ill-equipped to handle the ever increasing sizes of ocean-going ships, according to Warren McCrimmon, US delegation chair of the American Association of Port Authorities. In testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development last Friday, McCrimmon said it was critical to provide the funds the US Army Corps of Engineers needs to maintain the nation’s deep-draft shipping channels and harbors.

“It’s crucial that the Corps has the resources it needs, not only to maintain federal navigation channels at their required depths and widths, but to plan for the future needs of these waterways as ships continue to get bigger and need deeper water in which to operate,” said McCrimmon, seaport director for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority in Ohio.

If the ports aren’t maintained, he warned, “American businesses will have to pay more to transport the goods they buy and sell, which means job losses when exports are less competitive overseas, and which increases the price of the goods we consume when it costs more to import them.”

The American Association of Port Authorities represents 160 of the leading public port authorities in the US, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as 300 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in the seaports of the Western Hemisphere. Ports are increasingly significant catalysts for industrial growth and economic development in cities nationwide, including:

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