2005 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS
TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

SEAPORT SECURITY RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, U.S. seaport security is a fundamental element of homeland security; and

WHEREAS, the nation's 20 largest ports handled more than 95 percent of U.S. international trade; and

WHEREAS, the nationís 361 public seaports generate, both directly and indirectly, significant national economic benefits, including 13 million seaport-related jobs, including the cruise industry, $494 billion in personal income, $5 trillion in business sales, $743 billion to the nation's Gross Domestic Product, and $199.5 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues; and

WHEREAS, the volume of imported containerized cargo is expected to more than double by the year 2020; and

WHEREAS, U.S. seaports provide for the movement of commerce throughout the nation and the world, and as such, are vulnerable to terrorist threat; and

WHEREAS, many seaports are planning long-term comprehensive security improvement projects; and

WHEREAS, the current funding process, with its unpredictable annual appropriations and grant competitions, are too uncertain to help finance these long-term projects; and

WHEREAS, many U.S. seaports have thriving cruise centers providing vacation destinations for millions of passengers each year, and as such, are vulnerable to terrorist threat; and

WHEREAS, ports throughout the nation are impacted by the new seaport security mandates that handle millions of tons of imported container cargo or commercial activities each year; and

WHEREAS, there is a decisive federal interest in these seaports, and others, that require a multiyear funding commitment from the federal government to achieve their security improvement mandate; and

WHEREAS, annual appropriations are insufficient to fully meet the security improvement needs of all seaports that apply for port security grant funding; and

WHEREAS, the Interagency Commission on Crime and Security at U.S. Seaports estimates that the cost for security improvements could range from $12 million to $50 million per seaport.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the federal government to provide adequate, long-range funding to seaport security improvement projects; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to immediately pass legislation authorizing the Secretary of the Transportation Security Administration to issue Letters of Intent for multiyear funding to seaports with plans to carry out long-term security improvement; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports a federal funding mechanism to sustain the significant annual operating costs for the reoccurring maintenance of the new security systems and security personnel salaries that have not yet been identified; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to give seaport security equal importance in policy development and resources as it has given the development of aviation and airport security policy and funding, and assist the nationís 361 public seaports in carrying out the federal mandate to improve their security infrastructures.

©2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352
info@usmayors.org