RELEASE: Gottheimer, Secretary Buttigieg Visit Port Newark to Address Supply Chain — Gottheimer Calls for New “Strategic Shipping Reserve” to Carry Urgent Supplies, Key Part of Affordability Agenda

May 26, 2022
Press

Proposes New “Ports that Perform” Incentives for High-Performing Ports like Newark

Tours Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Investments in Ports, Gateway Tunnel, Roads & Bridges

Above: Gottheimer with U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg at Port Newark

PORT NEWARK, NJ — Today, May 26, 2022, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited the Port of Newark — the largest container port on the east coast and third largest in the nation, handling nearly 9 million twenty-foot equivalent containers annually. They announced how investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which Gottheimer helped shape and pass, will improve North Jersey’s infrastructure, including ports, roads, rails, and bridges, help build the Gateway Tunnel, address supply chain issues, create jobs, and boost our local economy. 

Gottheimer proposed two new ideas: 

1. “Strategic Shipping Reserve.” Gottheimer called for the Administration to utilize the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) as a new “Strategic Shipping Reserve” to move critical goods in the oceans — as they are now doing with Operation Fly Formula, following Gottheimer successfully pushing the Administration to invoke the Defense Production Act. TRANSCOM has ships ready and waiting around the country that can handle containers to help address supply chain issues. 

2. “Ports that Perform” Incentives. In an effort to compete with the five major ocean carriers (all foreign-owned), boost our economy, and tackle supply chain issues, Gottheimer called for ports like Newark that move goods faster to be given financial incentives, including to the port operators, truckers, and the men and women of the International Longshoremen’s Association. This will incentivize and further boost port efficiency. For instance, during the holiday season height of the supply chain crisis, vessel wait times in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reached 18-24 days or longer. In contrast, at the Port of New York and New Jersey, vessels were never forced to wait more than 1-2 days.

During the height of the supply chain crisis, ships leaving China could get to our Jersey port 25% faster than they could get to a West Coast port, because of Jersey’s incredible port workers, as well as infrastructure improvements made in recent years. In 2021 more than 115,000 containers shifted to New Jersey/New York from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

Port Newark activities support approximately 500,000 jobs in New Jersey and New York, and serve more than 134 million people regionally. The port contributes more than $12 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue.

“Right now, we’re marking six months since we got this historic piece of legislation across the finish line, which is going to help us get both goods and people moving better and faster in and around Northern New Jersey to make life more affordable for our families,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), who helped get the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill across the finish line. “Tackling supply chain issues is a key part of my Affordability Agenda for Jersey that puts forward action we can take right now to help our families and small businesses through the COVID-driven impact on our economy by getting more money back into Jersey families’ pockets. By addressing issues in our supply chain and by clawing investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill back to help us here, we’re working to end our reliance on major infrastructure that is decades old and puts our communities’ safety and our economy at risk. I want to make sure Jersey’s ports, counties, towns, municipalities, and our transit agencies like NJ Transit are all fighting for the federal dollars and grants available from our Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. North Jersey has waited decades to improve our crumbling infrastructure. It’s time we get our share, and get these much needed projects moving forward.”

This month marks six months since the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill was signed into law — to help get both goods and people moving better and faster and clawing back tens of billions of federal dollars to New Jersey, without raising taxes. Gottheimer encouraged Jersey’s ports, counties, towns, municipalities, and transit agencies like NJ Transit to apply for the federal dollars and grants available from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. 

Gottheimer stressed the importance of the U.S. competing with the five major ocean carriers to boost our economy and bring more transparency to the global shipping process. None of the five major ocean carriers are American owned, one is owned by the Chinese, and they are currently controlling the global supply chain.

Investments Clawed Back to Jersey Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Over Five Years Include: 

  • Helping build the Gateway Tunnel between New York and New Jersey. 
  • $8 billion to repair New Jersey’s crumbling highways, roads, and bridges.
  • $1 billion in critical water infrastructure needs to get forever chemicals and lead out of our families’ water, and overall improve the quality of life for New Jersey residents. 
  • $100 million in broadband for the more than 100,000 people in Jersey without broadband access.
  • $4.1 billion to improve Jersey’s public transportation.
  • $104 million for EV charging networks across the state and $2.5 billion available to apply for in grants.
  • $272 million for airport infrastructure.
  • Helping create two million jobs a year for the next decade, including for our hardworking men and women of labor

To address the supply chain, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill will invest nationally $17 billion in port infrastructure and waterways and $25 billion in airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs.

Gottheimer was joined at Port Newark by U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, New Jersey Commissioner & Co-Chair for the Gateway Development Commission Balpreet Grewal-Virk, and Bergen County Commissioner & President of Bergen County Building and Construction Trades Council and IBEW Tom Sullivan.

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