The U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD) today welcomed industry stakeholders to the first-ever National Maritime Strategy Symposium, a three-day conference aimed at supporting the growth of the U.S. maritime industry and ensuring the availability of U.S.-flag vessels for our nation's economic and national security.
"More than 75 percent of all U.S trade is transported by water, making maritime trade a critical part of our country's economy," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "We must strengthen America's ability to move products on the oceans, lakes, rivers and waterways, and chart a sustainable future course for the U.S. Maritime Industry."
Information gathered from the attendees will help MARAD develop a national maritime strategy, consistent and in tandem with the Department of Transportation's national freight strategic plan. It will also help lay the groundwork for capitalizing on emerging opportunities and enabling the nation to strengthen its leadership role in the international maritime community. More than 250 people representing shippers, operators, labor, academics, and government entities are attending.
"This is the first step in a year-long effort to develop a structured, systematic and inter-connected strategy that will strengthen and expand our nation's maritime transportation system," said Acting Maritime Administrator Paul "Chip' Jaenichen. "We have come together to lay the foundation for a truly robust national maritime strategy -- one that encompasses all aspects of our industry."
The Maritime Administration works in many areas involving ships and shipping, shipbuilding, port operations, vessel operations, national security, environment and safety. The Maritime Administration remains committed to maintaining the health of the U.S. Merchant Marine and creating opportunities for U.S. mariners and our Nation's maritime industry.