The American Waterways Operators, a trade group representing the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry, said it applauds the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, H.R. 3684, signed into law by President Joe Biden earlier this week.

The bill contains $17 billion for ports and waterways, including $2.5 billion of 100% federal funding for inland waterways construction and major rehabilitation projects, $4 billion for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operations and maintenance, and an increase in funding for the Port Infrastructure Development Program from $230 million in FY21 to $455 million a year for the next five years. The law also formally establishes the Made in America Office, which works to ensure that federal procurement processes support American workers and businesses and maintain the integrity of the Jones Act.

“This legislation demonstrates the bipartisan support for modernizing our nation’s infrastructure and will provide critical funding to keep America’s vital waterborne commerce moving,” said AWO President & CEO Jennifer Carpenter. “The tugboat, towboat and barge industry is essential to our nation’s economy and security, and has played a key role in helping the United States navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and recent global supply chain disruptions. This funding for ports and waterways infrastructure will ensure that our industry can continue to move cargo safely and efficiently, and we look forward to working alongside the Administration and Congress to ensure its smooth implementation.”

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