Ms. HAHN. Mr. Speaker, each day, U.S. ports move both imports and exports totaling some $3.8 billion worth of goods through all 50 States. Additionally, ports move 99.4 percent of overseas cargo volume by weight and generate $3.95 trillion in international trade. Given the importance of ports to our national economy, they must remain competitive and secure.
Thus, we must remain vigilant and make sure we are giving States the resources necessary, so they can address the constant security threats that continue to loom at our Nation's ports. Whether its scanning foreign cargo for nuclear material or patrolling essential waterways, port security has become increasingly important as we expand into a 21st century global economy. However, funding for these efforts continue to be a challenge as maritime security continue to expand and broaden with ever-evolving threats. Additionally, the economic downturn has forced cash-strapped States to cut funding for these vital security initiatives.
That is why I am reintroducing the Port Security Grant Act, which will extend the Port Security Grant Program through 2017. The Port Security Grant Act addresses these problems by allowing States to receive the Federal funding they need in order to secure their vital ports of entry. The program authorizes up to $400 million for States to train personnel, expand port recovery and resiliency capabilities, and increase their capacity to detect, respond to, and recover from attacks involving explosive devices.
However, Congress has failed to extend this vital program beyond 2015. By not extending this program, we endanger the critical progress that has been made in port security and increase the overall risk to our national and economic security.
By passing this bill, we will ensure that States continue to receive the funding they need in order to protect our Nation's gateways to the rest of the world.