Cantwell fought to secure historic $2.25B investment to upgrade port infrastructure, boost competitiveness and move goods faster
SEATTLE, WASH.— U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced that the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) has opened the application process for $450 million in grant opportunities under the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP). Sen. Cantwell led the fight to secure an historic investment of $2.25 billion over five years for the program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“By securing a record $2.25 billion for the Port Infrastructure Development Program, we are making the largest federal investment ever in our nation’s ports,” said Sen. Cantwell. “This funding will go a long way towards modernizing U.S. ports, shoring up our supply chain, and making them more resilient to the impacts of a changing climate. It is a long overdue investment and critically needed to ensure our country's economic competitiveness and to keep growing American jobs.”
The PIDP will award a total of $450 million per year in funding, the largest port investment to date, and is designed to improve the movement of goods through our nation’s ports and supply chain, enhance port resiliency, and address climate change by reducing emissions.
Ports in Washington state ports have been awarded a total $35.7 million through the PIDP since 2020. In August, Sen. Cantwell toured the Port of Seattle with Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg to showcase the Port’s recently-completed renovation of Terminal 5, which was funded in part through a $10 million PIDP grant and which will reduce emissions, decarbonize operations and increase competitiveness.
Currently, United States ports support 30 million jobs and 26% of our economic output. Washington has 11 deep-draft ports, seven of which are in Puget Sound. The two largest ports – the ports of Seattle and Tacoma – together make up the second largest load center in the nation. The Northwest Seaport Alliance (“Alliance”) of the Port of Seattle and Tacoma is in the top 5 largest container gateways in North America. The Alliance handled approximately $66 billion of waterborne trade with 189 trading partners globally in 2020. Marine cargo operations at Alliance facilities support over 58,000 jobs and drives over $12.4 billion in economic activity in Washington state.
Sen. Cantwell coauthored the 2019 legislation that reauthorized MARAD and the PIDP grant program. Most recently, the program was reauthorized in the 2021 National Defense Reauthorization Act, a provision authored by Cantwell. As Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. Cantwell worked to include a record $2.25 billion for the program in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law along with historic investments in our transportation infrastructure.
The PIDP Notice of Funding Opportunity outlines the criteria for port-related projects to apply. Ports must submit eligible applications by May 16, 2022.