American Association of Port Authorities CEO Kurt Nagle recently spoke of the need for the government to invest more in America's seaports and their intermodal connections – both on the land and in the water. Nagle cites both as enhancing the economy, creating and sustaining jobs, and enhancing the country's international competitiveness.
Economist John C. Martin, consulted for the article, agreed about the economic importance of the ports before considering their economic contributions each year ($4.6 trillion):
The AAPA suggested that shoreside intermodal connections and dredging are essential to the continued performance of its member ports, and that insufficient federal investment would mean restricted port volumes. The association cited a study by the American Society of Civil Engineers finding annual cost to American business of nearly $300 billion from deteriorated highways and $10 billion from insufficiently deep navigation channels.