May 27, 2008
Mr. Robert E. Fisher
7717 Church Avenue
Highland, CA 92346
Dear Mr. Fisher:
Thank you for contacting me. It is good to hear from you and I am pleased to respond.
Ports handle more than 35% (by value) of the Nation's imports and exports, and the role of water transport in the national economy is growing as trade policies increase the quantity of goods transported. A recent assessment of the U.S. marine transportation system by the Department of Transportation predicts that the total tonnage of U.S. domestic and international marine trade will more than double by 2020. Ocean carriers are deploying larger ships to handle the robust growth in maritime trade.
Federal funding for port maintenance has long been a controversial issue. Numerous funding alternatives, including carrier-based user fees, have been proposed. Congress is in the early stages of the Fiscal Year 2009 budget process. You can be certain that port maintenance funding will be debated by the relevant committees in the months ahead. In the meantime, you can be sure I will keep your strong views in mind.
Thanks again for taking the time to get in touch. As Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to work on behalf of the constituents that I proudly represent in Congress. Please feel free to contact me in the future in regards to this or any issue of concern.
Member of Congress