A major maritime coalition recently saluted U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) for his strong support of the industry.
The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF), to which the SIU is affiliated, presented Gallagher with the organization’s 2022 Legislator of the Year Award, during a late-July ceremony in Green Bay.
In announcing the recognition, the GLMTF said, “Congressman Gallagher has spearheaded legislation that invests in shipbuilding on the Great Lakes, improves the maritime supply chain during the winter, and ensures the Great Lakes Navigation System remains viable for years to come.”
“At a time when China is commissioning three ships in a single day, we desperately need to strengthen the American shipbuilding industrial base to expand, support, and service the fleet,” said Gallagher.
“Congressman Gallagher’s support for U.S. Merchant Mariners, Wisconsin ports, and Wisconsin shipbuilding drives economic stability in the Great Lakes region and in the nation. Simply put, he helps to create family-sustaining jobs for thousands,” stated Mark Ruge, president of the Wisconsin Domestic Maritime Coalition.
John Baker, an official with the International Longshoremen’s Association and vice president of the task force, added, “Mike Gallagher invests in the American worker protecting sailors from damaging ice floes, advancing U.S. shipbuilding, and keeping the maritime supply chain moving on the nation’s Fourth Sea Coast.”
GLMTF President Jim Weakley stated, “The work done by Congressman Gallagher to correct years of neglect to the Great Lakes Navigation System during the winter months is monumental. The Great Lakes Winter Commerce Act is a great step in the right direction. In addition, the support Congressman Gallagher provided to get the Great Lakes designated as a navigation system with a guaranteed allocation of money from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund will undoubtedly serve the Great Lakes region for decades to come and that is why he is our Legislator of the Year.”
Gallagher noted, “The importance of the Great Lakes cannot be overstated. Here in Northeast Wisconsin, these lakes are crucial to not just our economy, but to our way of life, and it’s critical we do everything we can to preserve these national treasures for generations to come. It’s an honor to be named the 2022 Legislator of the Year by the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, and I look forward to continuing my work to both protect the Great Lakes and expand opportunities for the businesses that rely on them.”
The award presentation took place at the U.S. Venture, Inc. facility in Green Bay. President and CEO of U.S. Venture John Schmidt stated, “The Port of Green Bay serves as a critical link in the supply chain for gasoline, diesel, and renewable energy products supplied to Northeastern Wisconsin. We appreciate and commend Congressman Gallagher for his continued support of the Port and the Great Lakes.”
The GLMTF has 74 member organizations. According to the coalition, “The Great Lakes commercial maritime industry supports more than 147,000 American jobs in eight Great Lakes states and generates more than $25 billion in economic activity.”
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