Seattle, Tacoma ports will survive Panama Canal widening, USDOT boss says
Rather than pit regions against each other, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell predicts USDOT would endorse projects aiding West Coast ports to increase their Asian trade, while competing against Canada and Mexico.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood chose Seattle’s Harbor Island on Thursday morning to announce creation of a Freight Policy Council. His goal is to propose corridor improvements for U.S. ports and a strategy to better move freight.
Seattle port backers worry about the 2014 widening of the Panama Canal. About 70 percent of cargo entering Seattle winds up in markets beyond the region, therefore the biggest ships can deliver their goods by passing through the enlarged canal to Gulf of Mexico ports. Would a national freight strategy tilt the balance away from the Northwest?
“These ports are going to very well when the Panama Canal opens, because they’re ahead of the curve on this,” LaHood said.
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