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U.S. port capacity continues to slip behind global competitors, Building America's Future says


U.S. ports continue to fall behind in infrastructure compared with other countries, and port traffic in Shanghai, China, last year outpaced the top eight U.S. ports combined, according to an updated report released by Building America's Future, a bipartisan coalition of elected officials who advocate a new era of U.S. infrastructure investment.

Titled "Falling Apart and Falling Behind," the updated report examines the state of U.S. transportation infrastructure and provides new data on the severity of the nation's infrastructure crisis, coalition officials said in a prepared statement. Since the original report was released in August 2011, there has been no significant improvements to U.S. transportation infrastructure systems and the nation has fallen further behind its global competitors in port, aviation and high-speed rail infrastructure, they said.

"We hope [the report] serves as a wake-up call to our elected leaders that it is time to get serious about investing in America's infrastructure. Year after year, the evidence continues to pile up that our infrastructure is degenerating while our competitors are investing aggressively and surpassing us in nearly every category and ranking," said Building America's Future President Marcia Hale.

While there was minimal improvement in the nation's overall world infrastructure ranking in 2012 by the World Economic Forum, up one place to No. 14, U.S. port capacity continues to slip behind its competitors, the report states. U.S. port infrastructure ranked at No. 19 behind such countries as Estonia and Barbados.

The report recommends creating a National Infrastructure Bank and encourages the federal government to develop a long-term national strategy to identify present and future infrastructure needs.

"The U.S. is one of the only leading nations in the world without a national plan for public-private partnerships and we are losing out on billions of dollars from private investors who instead spend their capital on our competitors' projects," said Building America's Future officials.

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