Biden issues rallying call to deepen US harbours

  • US vice president uses Savannah visit to stress importance of preparing East Coast ports for expanded Panama Canal

The US vice president Joe Biden used his visit to Georgia’s Savannah Port this week to stress the importance of deepening ports on the country’s East Coast.

Biden, who toured the port on Monday, was joined by US secretary of transportation Anthony Fox, Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, Congressman Jack Kingston, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson.

Following the tour, Congressman Kingston was quick to echo the words of the vice president adding that the nation cannot afford to delay the Savannah Harbor deepening. The project will enable the port to handle the influx of larger post-Panamax vessels expected after the completion of the Panama Canal Expansion Project in 2015.

“We are united in support of this vital project because we know that it is the key to keeping this economic engine humming,” said Kingston.

“Failure to complete the harbor expansion would spell disaster not just for Georgia but for the region.”

After 14 years of study, we not only know that it can be completed in an environmentally-sound manner but that it will provide enormous economic benefit for our region.”

Lower prices per container slot on post-Panamax ships will save US companies shipping goods through Savannah as much as 40 percent on transportation costs.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, working with the Georgia General Assembly, has allocated $231 million towards the deepening of Savannah harbour, which now awaits only an update from Congress to the current construction budget of $652 million.

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