The report titled “Emerging South American Competitiveness to U.S. Soybean Exports” exposes issues that currently threaten the United States' position as a leader in the world soybean market. Results of the report highlight the critical need for infrastructure investments to improve the inland waterway infrastructure of the Mississippi River System in order to compete with South American markets, which are rapidly growing in sophistication and capacity. The comparative economic study was conducted by the University of Southern Mississippi.
"The Mississippi River and our Louisiana ports have a propitious impact on our national economy, goods transportation systems, and job creation,” Scalise said. “According to this newly released report, the Mississippi River Basin produces 92% of our nation’s agricultural exports and five Louisiana ports facilitate almost three-quarters of our nation’s grain exports. Early this year, I proudly fought to ensure passage of the Water Resources and Development Act (WRRDA), a bipartisan bill that strengthens our nation’s water transportation infrastructure, and modernizes our ports. WRRDA makes a long-overdue reinvestment in our ports by authorizing important reforms to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to deepen our waterways and allow America to remain competitive in the global marketplace. Passage of this significant piece of legislation could not have been possible without the efforts of Ranking Member David Vitter and House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster. This new study only highlights the importance of modernizing our waterborne infrastructure and the critical nature of deepening the Mississippi River to 50-feet in order to keep America competitive and supreme in domestic and international commerce.”
U.S. Senator David Vitter has also given his support to the topics outlined in the Report. “One out of every six American jobs depends on trade and maritime commerce. $180 billion of goods travel to and from American ports on American waterways each year. At the center of it all, the mighty Mississippi serves 31 states in the heartland of America, which is the breadbasket of the world. I grew up in New Orleans, watching huge grain ships and others plowing up and down that mighty Mississippi,” said U.S. Senator David Vitter.
(Based upon a press release from WTC of New Orleans)