Jacksonville, Fla.—July 9, 2012—A comprehensive, national approach is needed to accommodate for export growth and impact on our nation’s multimodal freight network. Following months of negotiations, Congress emerged with a 27-month transportation bill containing a number of provisions that place unprecedented emphasis on freight movement and its importance to the U.S. economy. Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) applauds Florida’s Senator Bill Nelson, Chairman John Mica and Congresswoman Corrine Brown’s support of the bill, especially their support of the freight provisions which are aimed at increasing U.S. economic competitiveness and job creation.
“The Transportation Bill will have a positive impact on the railway industry,” said Jim Hertwig, Chief Executive Officer, Florida East Coast Railway. “This bill will complement the investments FEC is making in the Port Miami On-Dock Rail Facility and the Port Everglades Intermodal Container Transfer Facility. Additional investments in infrastructure will improve the nation’s ability to handle the increased freight that will flow into east coast ports after the Panama Canal expansion is completed.”
FEC championed these advances in goods movement through its membership in the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors. For more than 10 years, the Coalition helps its members educate Congress and the federal agencies to the economic importance of our water, road, rail and air infrastructure that allows massive amounts of goods to reach their domestic and international destinations cheaply and efficiently.
“This compromise legislation shows that Congress has been listening when we’ve made our case for supporting the systems that move our nation’s goods,” said Mort Downey, Chairman of the Coalition and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation. “We see this as a good platform upon which future steps can be taken to further improve this critical network and its infrastructure.”
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s annual “GDP by Industry Report,” the manufacturing industry grew by $337 billion since 2009 and the agriculture and mining industries grew by $110 billion. Goods-producing industries are heavily reliant on our nation’s freight system and positively impact our nation’s export growth, which is up from $1.58 trillion in 2009 to $2.09 trillion in 2012. In 2008, American exports accounted for 12.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Today, exports account for 13.9 percent of GDP.