Posted on November 11, 2021
DredgeWire visited the site of President Biden’s important visit to the Port of Baltimore yesterday to celebrate America’s maritime infrastructure and over $1T of pending new government investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (BIF.)
As you look at the gigantic American flags hanging from the enormous new post Panamax cranes, just delivered to the Port of Baltimore’s famous Seagirt terminal, it’s important to reflect on a few delicious ironies.
Ports are an essential ingredient of international trade, and trade by definition is two-way: imports and exports. A strong country and growing country, like America, needs both: both products and services, including capital.
The cranes in the pictures below just arrived from China. The cranes are owned or operated by Ports America, which has a very productive public-private partnership with the Port of Baltimore. Their logo is on the cranes. President Biden celebrated that partnership both specifically and as a valuable concept for operating and raising capital for transportation infrastructure.
As DredgeWire reported earlier this week, The Federal Maritime Commission, the FMC, has just written a letter to US Treasury Secretary Yellen objecting to the pending sale of Ports America to a Canadian pension fund. See https://lnkd.in/enZ4AitC
It’s worth reading.
Does the FMC argument make sense?
As American and other Western business interests struggle to develop new supply chains, using both re-shoring and on-shoring in favor of questionable or unreliable Chinese-based supply chains, for both national security and other good reasons, we cannot and should not reasonably expect to do all of that new sourcing within our own 50 states. Surely we can and should rely as well on our closest partners such as Canada and the UK and Australia, Japan and select others, who share so many of our goals and interests and values.
So the ironies are clear. We need capital to improve our domestic transportation infrastructure. We just passed a bill saying we need over $1trillion! Just as the British helped finance our first railroads, some Canadian capital in our ports won’t hurt.
Peter Bowe, Publisher, DredgeWire
(PS This doesn’t mean we don’t support the Jones Act; that’s a completely separate issue.)
Here are our pics
More about Biden’s visit to the Port of Baltimore.