March 3 - The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has commended steps taken by President Barack Obama toward increasing the investment in transportation infrastructure, including needed infrastructure in and connecting to America's seaports.

Obama announced the availability of USD600 million in Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants for this fiscal year and outlines the basics of his administration's proposal for a four-year USD302 billion transportation reauthorisation bill.

Key provisions to the ports included a new USD10 billion multimodal grant programme for rail, highway and port projects; a doubling of funding for the TIGER programme; USD4 billion to attract private investment in transportation infrastructure; and the goal of improving project delivery and the federal permitting and regulatory review process.

House Ways and Means Committee chairman, Dave Camp, also proposed to dedicate USD126.5 billion to the Highway Trust Fund to fund highway and infrastructure investment, while the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee also held events aimed at gaining support for a surface transportation reauthorisation bill.

"The overwhelming bipartisan passage of water resources legislation in both the Senate and the House last year, the importance President Obama continues to express in investing in America's ports and the many calls from policymakers on both sides of the aisle on the unquestioned need to improve America's transportation infrastructure makes us hopeful that all parties will be able to work together to identify a means to provide the needed investments in port-related infrastructure," commented AAPA president, Kurt Nagle.