The SIU welcomed the early February announcement by U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) concerning the formation of the bipartisan Congressional Maritime Caucus.
In a joint news release, the congressmen said they will co-chair the new caucus, which “will work to raise awareness among members of Congress on a broad range of maritime-related topics.
“The maritime industry is the unsung hero of our nation’s economy,” said Rep. Richmond. “From Alaska to Puerto Rico, Louisiana to New York, every day this industry facilitates trade and delivers energy resources that support millions of jobs and pays billions in state and federal taxes every year. I also look forward to highlighting the role other industries play in supporting maritime commerce, be it in the fields of law, engineering, shipbuilding or insurance.”
As noted in the release, America’s ports are vital to the employment of 13.3 million workers nationwide. International trade accounts for more than 25 percent of America’s gross domestic product; U.S. seaport activities generate more than $3.15 trillion in annual economic output, with $3.8 billion worth of goods moving in and out of ports every day around the country.
“The maritime industry is at the heart of New York City’s economic vitality – from our thriving shipping industry to the Staten Island Ferry,” said Rep. Grimm. “As the representative of Staten Island and Brooklyn, I am proud to have the New York Container Terminal in my district that employs hundreds of hard-working men and women. I am honored to co-chair the Congressional Maritime Caucus with Rep. Richmond, and look forward to working with him in support of issues that matter most to our nation’s maritime industry.”
Both congressmen further pointed out that the maritime industry “has played the vital role of connecting people, goods and information worldwide. Every day, the maritime industry facilitates trade and commerce which, in turn, creates jobs. It delivers energy resources, supports offshore energy exploration, dredges our waterways, secures our borders and supports our military. Onshore, the industry is supported by all manner of professionals in fields such as law, insurance, logistics, ship building and repair, security, environmental science, engineering, management and workforce training.”
The Congressional Maritime Caucus “will function as a devoted ally of all components of the maritime industry and will work to raise awareness among members of Congress on a broad range of maritime-related topics,” they added.
“I am confident that this caucus will be a voice for the entire maritime industry, one that stresses how critical this industry is to sustaining our economic recovery. I’m proud to have Congressman Michael Grimm as a cochair and I look forward to working with him to ensure that U.S. maritime policy meets the challenges of the 21st century,” Rep Richmond concluded.