The Biden-Harris Action Plan for America’s Ports and Waterways

The White House has recently released, Fact Sheet: The Biden-Harris Action Plan for America’s Ports and Waterways. America’s ports play a vital role in the U.S. economy; in 2018, they accounted for over 30 million jobs and represented approximately 26% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). In recognition of this, the Biden-Harris administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal includes $17 billion to improve infrastructure for America’s ports and waterways. The goal of this plan is to “increase federal flexibilities for port grants; accelerate port infrastructure grant awards; announce new construction projects for coastal navigation, inland waterways, and land ports of entry; and launch the first round of expanded port infrastructure grants funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.”

Immediate actions announced in the plan:

  • Support creative solutions to current supply chain disruptions by allowing for flexibility in port grants.
  • Alleviate congestion at the Port of Savannah by funding the Georgia Port Authority pop-up container yards project.

Further near-term actions announced:

  • Launch programs to modernize ports and marine highways with more than $240 million in grant funding within the next 45 days.
  • Identify projects for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction at coastal ports and inland waterways within the next 60 days.
  • Prioritize key ports of entry for modernization and expansion within the next 90 days.
  • Open competition for the first round of port infrastructure grants funded through the bipartisan infrastructure deal within 90 days.

More resources related to America’s ports can be found the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL).

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