WASHINGTON, DCóOn Tuesday, staff representing members of the bipartisan Congressional PORTS Caucus traveled to the Port of Baltimore. During the trip, attendees got a close-up look at the daily activity at the Port of Baltimore. After a morning of briefings on port issues ranging from dredging needs to infrastructure development and containerized screening, congressional staffers in attendance received a tour of marine terminals, and saw a Customs and Border Patrol demonstration of a cargo container screening.

ìPort security is vital to both national security and economic security,î said Poe. ìPort activity directly or indirectly impacts every home in America. The caucus is focused on raising awareness in Congress about the importance of our nationís ports and will continue to educate lawmakers about the work they do and the challenges they face.î

ìItís so important that we educate policymakers about the vital role ports play in our economy and security,î said PORTS Caucus co-founder Congresswoman Janice Hahn. ìThis port tour will give our policymakers valuable exposure to the size and scope of port operations, and enhance their understanding of the challenges facing our nationís ports.î

Staff received an overview of business at U.S. ports from Kathy Broadwater, Deputy Executive Director of the Maryland Port Administration, an update from Kurt Nagle, President of the Association of American Port Authorities on national issues impacting ports, and briefings from Jeff McKee, Senior Coastal Navigation Program Manager Headquarters U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mark Montgomery, President & CEO of Ports America Chesapeake, Roger Bohnert, Deputy Associate Administrator, Intermodal System, U.S. Maritime Administration, and Ricardo Scheller, Port Director, Port of Baltimore, Customs & Border Protection on dredging needs for U.S. Ports, Private-Public Partnerships, the Maritime Administrations Port Infrastructure Development Program Framework, and port security operations and container screening procedures.

The bi-partisan Congressional Ports Opportunity Renewal Trade and Security (PORTS) caucus has 73 members from across the country, working to promote the importance our ports to the nationís economy and the need to secure them.