Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today received commitment from the Federal Maritime Commission that it will complete its final study on cargo diversion by late spring or early summer. Larsen questioned Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr., at a Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee hearing. Larsen is the top Democrat on the subcommittee.
"When shippers divert their cargo to Canada instead of our ports in Northwest Washington, we lose jobs," Larsen said. "I am pleased the Federal Maritime Commission has committed to finishing its study on cargo diversion by this summer so that Congress and the Administration can take appropriate steps to fix this problem and return jobs to our ports."
A growing number of imports from Asia pass through west coast Canadian container ports en route to the United States. This U.S.-bound cargo is diverted to Canada instead of U.S. west coast ports largely because the U.S. Harbor Maintenance Tax is imposed on containers entering U.S. ports. Administrators of northwest ports have told Larsen that the Harbor Maintenance Tax is increasingly costing them business.
Larsen and other members of the Washington delegation asked the Federal Maritime Commission for the study last year. The commission voted to initiate the study in October.