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US waterways benefit international trade and resource conservation | TheHill – The Hill

America’s ports and waterways strengthen our economic resilience, public safety and geopolitical security, enabling the delivery of energy, agricultural products and manufactured goods. By reforming water resources legislation, U.S. can not only ensure the reliability of these important assets but our financial security over the long-term.

The recovery and continued growth of U.S. industries depends on the capacity and condition of an extensive maritime transportation network – our gateway to the international marketplace – but numerous ports and waterways currently require critical repairs, upgrades and expansions.

The Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA) stands to renew the nation’s commitment to infrastructure modernization and environmental protection, allowing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to address maintenance needs and conduct feasibility studies – unlocking the potential of America’s water resources.

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The bipartisan legislation, which has been successfully enacted by three previous congresses, would provide ongoing authorizations and improvements to infrastructure development projects, while creating local jobs, supporting communities and protecting the environment.

America has more than 300 commercial ports and nearly 25,000 miles of inland waterways, which support $1.8 trillion annually in international trade. In 2018, U.S. waterways carried more than 2.4 billion short tons of farm produce, manufactured products, raw materials and other goods, including over 1 billion short tons of petroleum.

However, many of these infrastructure assets have reached the end of their design life, with grades ranging in the Cs and Ds, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2017 Infrastructure Report Card. It is critical
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