New Transportation Infrastructure Legislation Introduced
Act allocates $18 billion for improved ''goods movement''
WASHINGTON - 11/13/03 - Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and a co-founding member of the Congressional Goods Movement Caucus, has introduced H.R. 3398 - The Goods Movement Projects of National Economic Significance Act.
The legislation "addresses the nation's transportation and economic needs by allocating additional federal funds for projects that contribute to the overall efficiency of the national transportation infrastructure" and provide $18 billion over the course of six years to fund transportation infrastructure projects across the country, according to a spokesman for Millender-McDonald, who represents California's 37th Congressional District.
Half the allocation would be used for discretionary programs for state and local governments to plan and build projects "critical to the efficient shipment of freight" with the other $9 billion earmarked for projects determined to be of "national economic significance."
The Congresswoman's office wouldn't speculate on how much of the funding could eventually be allocated for California or regional infrastructure projects, but the spokesman did say that the state's geographic location "provides it with important portals through which imports and exports move, placing increased burdens on the state's infrastructure."
?In 2000, almost $440 billion in internationally traded goods flowed through the state, he said.?
The legislation, he added, is of particular importance to Southern California, which acts as a revolving door for US overseas trade, particularly the trade with Asia.
Currently, some 80% of the goods coming into the US from the Pacific Rim, while a full 45% of the country's total containerized cargo movements pass through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The two ports are ranked first and second in the US in terms of annual container volume, and, if combined into a single "load center," would form the third busiest port complex in the world.
More than $49 billion in exports passed through California on their way from some other mainland state to their ultimate destination. In addition, approximately $248 billion worth of imports entered the US through California for ultimate use or consumption in other parts of the country.
According to the US Census, once California's shipments moving through to other states are accounted for, more than $177 billion worth of goods are transshipped through California by other states in excess of what the state moves through other states.
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