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Mar.7, 2016

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GOVERNMENT WATCH www.joc.com THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE 91 With a large built-in consumer market and connections to every international market, Florida ports are equipped and ready to launch your products around the globe. Port Canaveral • Port Citrus • Port Everglades • Port of Fernandina • Port of Fort Pierce JAXPORT • Port of Key West • Port Manatee • PortMiami • Port of Palm Beach • Port Panama City Port of Pensacola • Port of Port St. Joe • Port of St. Petersburg • Port Tampa Bay Florida Ports. Delivering Your World. FlaPorts.org FLORIDA IS YOUR PORTAL FOR EXPORTS AND IMPORTS TO AND FROM MARKETS ALL OVER THE WORLD. enough to fill some of the shortfalls. The news comes as a blow to the U.S. gateways pursuing major harbor-deepening projects in preparation for the arrival of ultra- large container vessels traversing an expanded Panama Canal. The canal expansion project is expected to be completed in April. Its new locks will handle container ships with capaci- ties of up to 14,000 20-foot-equivalent units, nearly triple the size of the ships that can tran- sit the canal's century-old locks today. To accommodate those ships, ports up and down the U.S. East Coast are deepening and expanding their harbors. Baltimore, Miami and Virginia are prepared and the Port of New York and New Jersey is nearly there. But farther south, Savannah is still at work. The $706 million project will deepen the waterway from 42 to 47 feet. Crews started deepening in September, and they've dredged 5 percent of their goal. The project is expected to be completed before 2021, according to the state port authority. That timetable could be in peril, though, if Con- gress adopts President Obama's budget as is. The Georgia Ports Authority told The Journal of Commerce it remains confident the project will stay on schedule. Moreover, the Corps of Engineers said that, although the project will require at least $80 million to $100 million a year to be completed on time, the recent budget request's shortfall doesn't mean the project schedule will have to be recalibrated. The corps noted that it was able to get more money allocated for fiscal 2016 through discretionary funds, boosting the year's sum from $20 million to $45 million. Nevertheless, Georgia state officials said the president's proposal "will result in delays and threaten to increase the cost." Georgia already has committed its entire $266 million share of the harbor project upfront, and that money has essentially been spent, making federal funding critical for avoiding future delays, according to Geor- gia Gov. Nathan Deal. "Vice President Biden promised in the past year that we'd get this project done come 'hell or high water,' but it's more accurate to say the administration is going to put us through the former to get

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