These ships bring in roughly 2 containers of imports for every container of goods we export. Most of the imports are from China, and this imbalance of trade cost the U.S. a $342 billion trade deficit with China in 2014.
Yesterday, the other shoe dropped. The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) released a report and held a press conference announcing that their members need another $29 billion, mostly tax dollars, for port-related freight highway network projects.
Source: AAPA “The State of Freight”
This brings the total cost to approximately $75 billion, over $200 for every man, woman, and child in the United States. Port authorities are public institutions, and many, perhaps most, of these infrastructure costs are paid for with Federal, State, or local tax dollars.
This figure does not include the substantial costs of upgrading the rest of the U.S. highway system to handle increasing levels of imports and fleets of heavy duty diesel trucks.
When will we stop subsidizing imported goods with tax dollars and in health impacts on people living in adjacent overburdened communities?
If we are going to subsidize imports with our tax dollars, why don’t we at least protect people in communities near the ports and highway network from traffic related air pollution and the health problems it causes?’