Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH, fifth from left) accepts his 2015 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award from representatives of the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force in Washington, DC, on October 1, 2015. Senator Sherrod Brown’s keen understanding of lake shipping has been invaluable to our industry. Whenever the Senate takes up issues that affect us, Sen. Brown is like a captain on the bridge carefully choosing the best course. The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014 is a case in point. The years of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) amassing surpluses while harbors go un- or under-dredged are over because WRRDA requires the government to incrementally increase expenditures from the HMTF until they reach 100 percent of receipts by 2025. Sen. Brown’s support will be critical when the Senate takes up the House’s Coast Guard Authorization Act which authorizes the Commandant to design and build another heavy icebreaker for the Great Lakes. The delays and canceled cargoes during the past two ice seasons cost the economy nearly $1.1 billion in business revenue and 5,000 jobs. Brown’s entire political career has been dedicated to protecting American workers from unfair trade and practices, so his support for the Jones Act is unshakeable. Sen. Brown understands that market-distorting practices have slashed the number of American vessels in the international trades, so he is adamant that our domestic trades must be governed by U.S. laws and regulations so that the playing field is level and the commerce creates jobs for Americans.