Congressman Costello, Deputy U.S. Secretary of Transportation John Porcari, and Chinese Vice Minister of Maritime Affairs XU Zuyuan, participate
US Congressman Costello Briefs US and Chinese Transportation Officials
Granite City, IL – U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello, U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari, China Vice Minister of Maritime Affairs XU Zuyuan, SONG Dexing, Director of Water Transportation in China, Asst. Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, Susan Kurland, U.S. MARAD Administrator David Matsuda and other U.S. and Chinese public and private sector officials visited America’s Central Port on Wednesday, January 11, 2012.
The visit from the Assistant U.S. Transportation Secretary, the Chinese minister and his colleagues was part of the fourth annual Transportation Forum held in St. Louis and the surrounding area. The United States and China hold one of the forums each year, alternating between the two countries. Last year’s forum was held in China. The forums emphasize the importance of transportation infrastructure as a foundation for economic development.
Vice Minister XU Zuyuan listens to Congressman Costello’s Presentation
Congressman Jerry Costello and the Port’s Executive Director, Dennis Wilmsmeyer, briefed U.S. and Chinese officials prior to taking a tour of the Port’s developments. During the briefing, Costello talked about the conversion of the former Price Army Support Center for commercial development by America’s Central Port. He told the Chinese officials that the focus of the overall effort here is to create jobs. The foreign trade zone, which is located at the Port, offers one-stop service for Chinese companies looking to locate in the United States with an excellent location in the middle of the country. This puts the Port above and beyond anyone else to provide distribution services in the United States. Wilmsmeyer noted that the port is a two-day drive from 70 percent of the nation’s population.
Asst. U.S. Transportation Secretary Porcari Addresses a Breakfast Roundtable Sponsored by America’s Central Port
Wilmsmeyer also pointed out the significance of the new South Harbor project to both U.S. Transportation officials and the Chinese. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded a grant to the new Harbor project for $8.5 million dollars, combined with a previous $6 million TIGER grant for the project. The South Port under construction is located below the river from Lock and Dam 27, the southernmost such facility on the Mississippi River. The new South Harbor will handle imports and exports of products produced in the Midwest and will create the most northerly rail, river and roadway freight transfer location south of the Mississippi River lock system.
Traveling with the U.S. and Chinese delegation were many private sector companies dealing with water transportation projects. Several of these firms expressed interest in business opportunities at the Port.
[icon_link url=http://www.americascentralport.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Presentation-to-US-Chinese-Officials-about-Americas-Central-Port.pdf color=gray type=icon_paper]Presentation to US-Chinese Officials about America’s Central Port[/icon_link]