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The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) yesterday recognized U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) as its 2019 “Port Person of the Year.”
AAPA honored Diaz-Balart for his "stalwart advocacy of the port industry,” association officials said in a press release.
“In his more than 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Diaz-Balart has consistently championed legislation to benefit our nation’s ports,” said AAPA President and Chief Executive Officer Kurt Nagle. “Through both words and deeds, he’s demonstrated a keen understanding of how ports play a central role in driving our nation’s economy and creating good American jobs.”
Diaz-Balart is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee. He co-chairs the Florida Port Caucus.
AAPA officials credited Diaz-Balart with negotiating language in the fiscal-year 2019 THUD appropriations bill that resulted in nearly $293 million in first-ever funding being appropriated for the Port Infrastructure Development Program in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. The program’s goal is to fund infrastructure improvements that enhance U.S. port competitiveness and the ability of coastal seaports to effectively handle the movement of goods in America’s supply chain, AAPA officials said.
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