Modern, navigable seaports are vital to international trade and economic prosperity. For more than 200 years, seaports have been a vital component of our nation's economy. In 2008, the seaports of the Western Hemisphere generated nearly $8.6 trillion in economic activity, and imported and exported about 8 billion tons of cargo, including food, clothing, medicine, fuel, building materials, electronics and toys. Seaports also support the employment of tens of millions of people and generate billions of dollars in tax revenues.
 
For seaports to thrive, however, the federal government must invest in the infrastructure that allows ships to navigate our marine highways and reach the seaport.  U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment, discusses the challenges facing our industry in a guest article in the latest edition of Seaports Magazine.