The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

Harbor Maintenance Tax legislation introduced in Congress

From the American Association of Port Authorities:

Yesterday, bipartisan, bicameral legislation was introduced to ensure that all Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) money collected is returned to ports for the maintenance of federal navigation channels and supporting maritime infrastructure.

The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Reform Act of 2017 was introduced in both the House and Senate. […]


Trump’s proposed budget would be ‘devastating’ for Northwest wheat growers

From Spokane Public Radio:

As much as 90 percent of Washington states wheat crop is exported to other nations. While the sale price was enough to make a good profit just a couple years ago, growers this year are seeing prices about a dollar below the break-even point for them, about 5 dollars a bushel.



How has your Senator voted on Trump nominees so far?

The New York Times makes it easy to find out where our Senators stand:

The Senate has confirmed each of President Trump’s nominees that it has voted on so far. Fifteen members of the cabinet and eight other top administration posts require Senate confirmation.

All but three of the “no” votes have come from […]


Senators from OR, WA, CA vote to advance damaging trade deal

Disappointing news from DC: In an article titled ”Fast-Track Clears Senate Hurdle In Vote,” AlterNet calls out the Democrats who helped the damaging trade deal TPP advance to the next level.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden is among the West Coast Democrats who cast a bad trade vote against the interests of working families.

The Senate […]


WRRDA’s promised funding for US ports isn’t guaranteed

Congressional appropriators, or those with the purse strings, aren’t bound to follow the guidance set forth by the Water Resources Reform Development Act, which President Barack Obama is expected to soon sign into law.

Just because Congress promises to send hundreds of millions of dollars more annually to U.S. ports and more fairly distribute the […]


Harbor tax rebate could help Seattle, Tacoma ports attract business

The Seattle Times reports that the Ports of Tacoma (pictured) and Seattle ”are losing market share, and they lay part of the blame on the harbor-maintenance tax. Importers and shippers can bypass the levy — $1.25 per $1,000 in cargo — by entering through or Mexican ports and moving the goods to final U.S. […]


US Bill aims to abolish Harbor Maintenance Tax; could levy fees on imports from Canada, Mexico

News Tribune graphic, 2012

The legislation would change the Harbor Maintenance Tax and give shippers “new incentives to move their goods through American ports-particularly those in the Pacific Northwest,” said Senator Murray.

A US Senate bill could go forward next month that will propose a repeal of the existing Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) […]


End run threatens ports in Northwest

”The threat is real,” said Cantwell. ”The Federal Maritime Commission found that up to 27 percent of container volume moving through West Coast ports is at risk of diverting to Prince Rupert.” Canadian ports have soared from 7.8 to 13.9 percent, with expansion that will allow Prince Rupert to take more cargoes than Seattle, […]


U.S. Senators urge ILWU, foreign grain merchants to 'reach a fair agreement'

U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have written to leaders of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers’ Association to reach a collective bargaining agreement for the Northwest grain terminals.

Weeks after the ILWU and American grain exporter TEMCO reached a collective bargaining agreement to cover three terminals […]


Union: Grain companies agree to resume talks

Excerpts from the Columbian:

Union dockworkers, locked out for more than three weeks in a contract dispute with United Grain Corp. at the Port of Vancouver, say the company and two other operators of Northwest grain-export terminals have agreed to return to the bargaining table.

The agreement to renew talks is outlined in a March […]


Merkley and McDermott lead Oregon and Washington Congressional Members in Calling for Resolution of Port Dispute

Joint news release from Sen. Merkeley and Congressman Jim McDermott:

WASHINGTON, DC – Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and Washington Congressman Jim McDermott today were joined by ten of their colleagues from Oregon and Washington to call for continuing negotiations and a fair and amicable settlement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the […]


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 […]


Canadian ports wade into political waters

Last September, two Washington senators and a handful of West Coast representatives asked the commissioners to analyze the impact of shippers stopping in Canada and then sending their goods by rail to the United States. Their primary concern involved a Harbor Maintenance Tax, which the government charges shippers to reimburse dredging costs. The report placed […]


U.S. agency accuses Canada of luring cargo away from U.S. ports

Cranes stack containers from cargo ships at the Port of Vancouver on October 16, 2008. A U.S. federal agency is poised to chastise Canada in an upcoming report to Congress, alleging Canadian ports on the West Coast are deliberately luring lucrative cargo business away from their American counterparts, say sources familiar with the findings. […]


Cantwell wants plan for floating Japan debris

Projections of what will happen to the debris have been made by Nikolai Maximenko and Jan Hafner at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s International Pacific Research Center, shown in the animated image above.

The 2,000-mile-long debris field from the March tsunami in Japan is expected to reach beaches in Hawaii next winter and […]