PANAMA CITY, FL – U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, II today concluded a statewide tour of Florida seaports that took him from Port Panama City and the Port of Port St. Joe, to the ports of Jacksonville, Palm Beach and Miami over the past month. As vice chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, Southerland’s visits with port officials provided valuable insight into the economic opportunities and challenges facing Florida’s 15 deepwater ports.
“The close relationships I’ve formed with officials at Port Panama City and the Port of Port St. Joe have provided me an understanding of trade and maritime issues that can’t be gathered by simply reading a report,” said Southerland. “Nothing can replace looking folks in the eye and learning about their opportunities and challenges firsthand, and my visits to Jacksonville, Palm Beach and Miami are an extension of that. After traveling our state from corner to corner, I look forward to utilizing the information gained to fight for increased economic opportunity at all of Florida’s deepwater ports.”
“Florida’s seaports are fortunate to have Congressman Southerland’s commitment to Florida’s economic future and appreciation of the importance of seaports to our future success,” said Doug Wheeler, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. “His leadership on federal maritime issues such as WRDA will be critical in the coming months, and we have enjoyed showing him how our ports move goods and contribute to trade.”