Qatar is planning to invest $10 billion in US ports and has approached international banks for financing help.
According to Reuters, the investment is said to be developed in phases and Qatar is currently in preliminary stages.
“The Qataris have been preparing for almost a year to test the waters with US port investments,” revealed Michael Frodl, US-based Adviser of Maritime projects.
“We think that a shrewd investor with the $10 billion the Qataris desire to put into American port infrastructure would likely look at the underserved East Coast first and foremost. The West Coast is getting all the US government and private investment attention, while the East Coast is long overdue for improvements.
“We’d be looking at ageing medium-sized ports south of Boston and north of Jacksonville.”
While West Coast ports are achieving nationwide attention, a study commissioned by ports in Washington and California and conducted by the Northwest Seaport Alliance found that ports in Canada receive more than twice the amount of federal funding when compared to ports along the US West Coast.
From 2016-2020 British Columbia ports have received $372 million in direct port project funding, whereas Washington State ports only received $45 million and California ports only received $179 million. This major difference in funding clearly demonstrates a competitive disadvantage for US West Coast ports.
Road and rail infrastructure along the West Coast has also seen significantly less funding than British Columbia. The study reports that from 2005-2020 federal contributions to port-related projects total $1.332 billion in British Columbia, compared to just $457 million for projects in Washington.