Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News

Infrastructure proposals congressional Republican leaders and the Trump administration come up with this year should prioritize funding for improvement projects along seaports, the group representing the country’s ports indicated this week.

Funding increases for maritime agencies, infrastructure and port security grants, and navigational programs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would help to enhance the country’s distribution of freight, the leadership at the American Association of Port Authorities reminded policymakers this week.

The group also indicated boosting investments for ports would help minimize the impact freight transportation has on the environment.

“For America to be internationally competitive, it’s critical that the federal government upholds its end of the partnership and invests in port-related infrastructure on both the land side and the water side,” Kurt Nagle, the association’s CEO, said on Capitol Hill on Feb. 9.

Republican leaders and the Trump White House have yet to say when they intend to unveil an infrastructure funding package. In January, Senate Democrats unveiled a proposal that aims to provide $6 billion for modernization projects at ports, waterways and airports.

“Coupled with President Trump’s stated intention to make major improvements in America’s infrastructure, we’re optimistic that long overdue infrastructure investments will be made,” Nagle said in January.

The group has scheduled its spring conference for April 4-6 in Washington.

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