Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) is holding a roundtable on Thursday, October 18, 2012 with Senator John Boozman (Arkansas) to bring experts in international shipping, trade, and transport together to discuss how Virginia and the rest of the country can work together to prepare for the impending expansion of the Panama Canal.
WHO: Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Senator John Boozman (AR), local elected officials, representatives from the Port of Virginia and key industry stakeholders.
WHAT: Roundtable on Panama Canal Expansion
WHEN: Thursday October 18, 2012: 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront in Suffolk, Virginia
With the Panama Canal expansion expected to be completed by 2015, the ports of the Eastern Seaboard, including the Port of Virginia, will likely see an increase in larger ship traffic, known as “post-Panamax” ships, which have up to ten times the carrying capacity of previously used vessels. A major international shipping port contributing over $40 billion to the Commonwealth’s economy, the Port of Virginia could be significantly impacted by the canal expansion. Currently, the Port of Virginia is the only East Coast port prepared to accept these giant ships, which require deeper channels, wider berths, larger turning basins and expanded dock capacity. This capability, partnered with the Port of Virginia’s rail and truck access that allows goods off-loaded at the port to be transported to two-thirds of the U.S. population within 24 hours, puts the Commonwealth in an especially advantageous position to benefit from the Panama Canal expansion.
“As the other states of the Eastern Seaboard prepare for these ships and invest millions of dollars into new port and inland infrastructure, it is important for key stakeholders to discuss the opportunities and challenges that the Panama Canal expansion poses for the Port of Virginia and our nation,” said Congressman Forbes. “We wish to hear from state and national officials, business leaders, and regional and national transportation stakeholders on how the Canal expansion will impact our ability to attract international trade, domestic investment and economic growth.”
U.S. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas will be co-hosting the event as a special guest of Congressman Forbes. Senator Boozman previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was the Ranking Member on the Water Resources Subcommittee. Currently, Senator Boozman serves on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, as well as the Committee on the Environmental and Public Works. Senator Boozman has become a leading and respected voice on transportation infrastructure issues, including the future of our nation’s ports. Click here to read his bio.
Due to space constraints, the event is closed to the public. All interested media should RSVP to Wes Battle at 202-226-6900 or email@example.com by 12:00 PM on Wednesday, October 17. A post-roundtable press availability will follow.