U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman visited the Port of Long Beach Nov. 24 to tour the International Transportation Service (ITS) container terminal and hold a press conference promoting the pendingTrans-Pacific Partnership(TPP) trade agreement. Ambassador Froman is President Obama’s principal advisor, negotiator, trade ambassador and spokesman on international trade and investment issues. Froman said the 12-nation trade agreement is poised to boost business for U.S. exports by eliminating or reducing existing barriers overseas. Negotiations on the content of the agreement were concluded in October. The agreement is subject to final approval by the U.S. and other member-nation governments. More information
The Long Beach City Council voted unanimously Dec. 1 to continue studying plans to decommission a segment of the Terminal Island (103) Freeway between Pacific Coast Highway and Willow Street. Supporters of the Green TI Transition Plan favor replacing the last mile of state Route 103 north of the harbor complex with park space. Opponents say the freeway is a critical truck route for international trade and closure could lead to negative environmental impacts.
H.R. 22, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, has been signed into law. The FAST Act authorizes multiyear funding for surface transportation programs, reauthorizes taxes that support the Highway Trust Fund, reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank, and streamlines the federal environmental review and permitting process for major infrastructure projects. Port of Long Beach commissioners and staff advocated for a long-term transportation bill and helped shape provisions related to funding freight infrastructure projects and streamlining the environmental review and permitting process in California and other states where regulations are more stringent than their federal equivalent. Funding for the FAST Act was included in the FY2016 Appropriations Bill.
The Port of Long Beach received top honors for its security, communications and environmental programs at the recent 2015 Annual American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) Convention in Miami. More information