Cantwell Advocates on Behalf of Small Businesses and Port Development to Stimulate Economic Growth

In Vancouver events, calls for integrated national freight strategy that includes ports, investments in our clean energy economy

VANCOUVER, WA – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) met with officials and business leaders at the Port of Vancouver and the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, to discuss her efforts at the federal level to jump-start small business growth as well as promote the state-of-the-art port as a magnet for economic development. Senator Cantwell sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Ray LaHood calling on the department to develop a comprehensive and integrated national freight strategy that includes ports. In a 2008 report, the Government Accountability Office found that the federal government lacked a strategy and clearly defined role in freight transportation. 
“Washington state’s economy thrives on trade and we boast one of the most robust export economies of any state in the country. We can and should double exports over the next five years to support two million U.S. jobs. But in order to realize this goal, we need to develop a comprehensive and integrated national freight strategy that includes our ports. Especially here in Vancouver, an efficient and modern transportation infrastructure is important to area growth.”
Senator Cantwell emphasized in her letter to Secretary LaHood that the strategy must address all transportation modes impacting the movement of freight, including highway, rail, waterways, aviation, and pipeline. A federal freight strategy will help create solutions necessary to prevent bottlenecks and incentivize state and local planning organizations to coordinate efforts and spread costs. In addition, Senator Cantwell called for a national goods movement program that includes dedicated funding for freight mobility projects to help guide new federal, state, local, and private investments. Public ports like the Port of Vancouver should have the opportunity to compete directly for funds from this program. Click here to view a copy of the letter.
After touring the West Vancouver Freight Access Loop Track development and Terminal 5 site at the Port of Vancouver, Senator Cantwell spoke with area business leaders at the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce about her efforts to empower small businesses to stimulate growth.
“Small businesses here in Vancouver and across our nation will play a critical role in our economic recovery. To empower small businesses to stimulate growth, I am working on a number of fronts to improve the climate for small businesses in Washington state, including extending our state and local sales tax deduction, which keeps millions of dollars in our local economy; extending tax credits that promote hiring and help small businesses invest in growing their businesses; and advocating for immediate lending capital.
“I am also working to create incentives for businesses to invest in clean energy technologies and create jobs in what I believe will be the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century. My vision for a clean energy economy will increasingly involve exporting technology to the rest of the world, and I see Clark County and Washington state positioned to take advantage of this heightened focus on green growth.”
Senator Cantwell’s efforts to stimulate clean energy investments include serving as a lead author on the $2.3 billion tax credit for clean energy manufacturers, which passed as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Advanced Energy Manufacturing Credit leverages private capital, for a total investment of nearly $8 billion in clean-tech manufacturing and 17,000 U.S. jobs. Senator Cantwell is calling for an additional $5 billion in funding for this credit to better meet the overwhelming demand from industry.
Together with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Cantwell introduced a clean energy bill called the Cantwell-Collins Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal (CLEAR). CLEAR would unleash investment in America’s clean energy economy, create thousands of U.S. jobs, reduce greenhouse emissions, and transition the nation off its dependence on foreign fossil fuels. To learn more about CLEAR, click here.