Steel traders, shippers urge ports spending
Sep 24, 2012 | 12:07 PM
| Catherine Ngai
NEW YORK Steel importers are urging Congress to make the nations ports and dredging needs a top priority.
Of concern is the Harbor Maintenance Tax, a 0.125-percent federal levy imposed on cargo values to generate funds for dredging maintenance at U.S. ports. Port and shipping interests say that the funds estimated $6-billion surplus hasnt been used as intended.
"This issue doesnt only affect steel importers but also the domestic steel industry (guy) who (gets) pig iron up the Mississippi River to his facility or coal to his coking facility," David Phelps, president of Falls Church, Va.-based American Institute for International Steel (AIIS), told AMM. "The dredging issue is a serious one, and clearly, if you have silting in a harbor, youre forced to put fewer products on the barge. ... This adds costs to the....
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