Speech

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At the Port of New Orleans

Secretary Anthony Foxx's remarks as prepared for delivery
New Orleans, LA, November 8, 2013

Good morning, everyone.  It's an honor to be here with President Obama, Governor Jindal, Representative Richmond, Mayor Landrieu, and all of you today.

We’re here today to talk about how important the Port of New Orleans is to the city, the state, and the entire country. 

I know you all agree.

At the Department of Transportation, we get it too.  We know firsthand the role transportation plays in moving our economy forward.

This fall, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and I have traveled to several of America's great ports: from Baltimore and Charleston to Jacksonville and Savannah. 

We must’ve saved the best for last!

Each port is different, but they all have one thing in common: America’s ports are keeping America’s economy moving.

Every business depends on safe, affordable transportation.  And that includes the American companies that ship cargo worth more than $5.5 billion through U.S. ports every day.

In fact, 75 percent of our nation’s exports travel through U.S. seaports.  And port activity supports more than 13 million jobs nationwide.

President Obama and Vice President Biden know this. 

That’s why this Administration has invested in marine transportation like no one before.

We gave the Port of New Orleans a $16 million TIGER grant to rebuild a rail yard at the Louisiana terminal.  By realigning the tracks, the Port will be able to increase efficiency and make moving goods safer, cheaper, and more sustainable. 

That’s good news whether you’re the business trying to ship a refrigerator or an iPad, or if you’re the customer waiting for it to arrive.

And that’s just one project. 

Over the last five years, we’ve used TIGER to direct $417 million to projects at 33 ports – large and small, inland and coastal.

As a result, U.S. exports will be more competitive – and that’s a win for the American economy.

These are the kind of investments we should be making more of across the country.

That’s why President Obama has called on us to ensure a stronger transportation system for future generations.  That’s why we’re here today.

And that’s why we’ll continue working to support critical transportation infrastructure like this Port in the future.

Thank you for the work you do every day here at the Port of New Orleans. 

With your help, we’re going to help freight move better in America.  We’re going to ensure that the manufacturing jobs of the future are created here at home.  And we’ll make sure our nation remains competitive for generations to come. 

Thank you.

Updated: Wednesday, November 13, 2013