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Report Hails FAST Act On Its First Anniversary
Kinghood International Logistics Inc | Updated: Dec 12, 2016

States and ports need tools and flexibility to adapt to new trade patterns and accommodate increased freight volumes, according to a new report issued today by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).
   The report, The State of Freight II - Implementing the FAST Act and Beyond, was issued about one year after President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act on Dec. 5, 2015.
   The report said the FAST Act brought ports and cargo fully into the surface transportation network and has given the nation a dedicated federal freight program for the first time ever.
   The FAST Act authorizes about $11 billion over five years.
   The report recommends continuing to provide Highway Trust Fund (HTF) apportionment to states for highway freight projects through the National Highway Freight Program, while encouraging coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau and Freight Advisory Committees to better leverage private sector investment.
   It also recommends providing additional and ongoing funding resources outside of the HTF for the overall multi-modal freight network that can supplement highway formula dollars and also fund discretionary grant programs.
   A “properly funded and staffed” Office of Multimodal Freight Transportation within the U.S. DOT’s Office of the Secretary should be reestablished, in order to address domestic and international freight planning needs, the associations said.
   They also want to move the Harbor Maintenance Tax from discretionary to mandatory spending, arguing that doing so would enable full tax revenue to be used for navigation channel maintenance. Over the past decade, they said only 60 percent of HMT revenues have been appropriated.

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