Today, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) hosted a Shopfloor briefing for congressional staff about the need to move the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) this year. Our nation’s inland waterways are critical to the competitiveness of our nation’s manufacturers and it’s critical that we continue to make strategic investments.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Chairman of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Bob Gibbs (R-OH) addressed the group and discussed the need for a WRDA bill to improve our competitiveness and answered questions about the process for moving a bill forward this year.
Manufacturing executives including Alicia Meads of CF Industries Holdings, Rob Roberson of Nucor Steel Berkeley and Matt Woodruff of Kirby Corporation joined NAM Director of Transportation and Infrastructure Policy Robyn Boerstling for a panel discussion on the importance of our nation’s inland waterways, ports and harbors.
Commodities and products critical to manufacturing like coal, steel, fertilizer, petroleum, chemicals and grain among others, move efficiently on the nation’s 12,000 miles of commercially navigable and intra-coastal waterways. WRDA legislation ensures sustained investment in these commercially relevant waterways so that manufacturing inputs are received and finished products delivered.
In late March the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved WRDA legislation and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said they plan to move forward with a bill in the coming weeks. Investment in our nation’s inland waterways is essential to our competitiveness. We can’t afford for another incident similar to what happened last year on the Mississippi River which would harm manufacturers and drive up costs.
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