The maritime industry is looking over the pond at Donald Trump’s American presidency and mulling its impact on the sector. Lawyers at Blank Rome have compiled a pro and cons list and found that there is some positive news.
“As an initial point, we think it is very good news for the maritime industry that Elaine Chao was appointed to lead the Department of Transportation where she served as deputy secretary in the first Bush administration. The incoming secretary served as the deputy maritime administrator and former chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission,” they state in in house publication Mainbrace. This appointment could mean support for ports and states that could benefit from a targeted infrastructure package, but”: “the maritime industry will need to make a forceful case to secure a fair share of any infrastructure package for improvement of ports, waterways, intermodal connections, and other shipping projects. The lure of generous federal spending on “infrastructure” has numerous industry sectors—not just roadbuilders and transit, but also rail, pipeline, telecoms, and utilities—already jockeying for position with the new Congress and administration. Unfortunately, ports and the maritime sector are often shortchanged in competing with these other sectors,” Blank Rome comments.
It is further anticipated that the Maritime Security Programme, the Jones Act and grants for small shipyards will be untouched, while the budget for the navy and to build icebreakers will likely be increased.
Unfortunately, marine environmental grants will probably not survive Trump’s cuts, “however, because most of the environmental regulation of shipping is driven by international treaties and agreements, we do not expect any significant changes with regard to our industry,” Blank Rome estimates.
You can find the entire report here.