OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A new federal report shows that Pacific Northwest ports are losing business to Canada.
U.S. Representative for Washington's Second District Rick Larsen says the Harbor Maintenance tax is putting our ports at a competitive disadvantage compared to Canadian ports, and it needs to be reformed.
Money from the tax goes into a fund that pays for port dredging across the U.S., but Larsen says the Northwest doesn't get a fair share of the fund because our ports are naturally deep.
He says Canada doesn't have a comparable tax, which charges shippers $1.25 per $1,000 worth of cargo containers.
The report from the federal maritime commission released Friday shows that a large number of U.S. imports from Asia are processed through Canadian ports before moving to the United States through cross-border rail.
U.S. Senator Patty Murray released a statement saying “This report makes it clear that we can’t afford to stop investing in our west coast ports to make sure we maintain our competitive edge in the 21st century and beyond.”