The Canadian Chamber of Commerce supports the findings of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission’s study released on Friday on U.S. cargo moving through Canadian and Mexican seaports.
“This is a great victory for Canadian ports and carriers. The study’s findings debunk claims of unfair practices by Canada. Canadian ports and railways provide crucial competition that benefits shippers and consumers in both our countries,” said Perrin Beatty, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian chamber.
“The evidence submitted to the FMC demonstrates clearly that the success of Canada’s ports is the result of fair competition. Canadian ports and users pay the full cost of maintaining the infrastructure they use,” Beatty added.
The study found that carriers shipping cargo through Canadian and Mexican ports do not violate any U.S. law, treaty, agreement, or FMC regulation, and there are numerous factors accounting for why shippers elect to use ports in Canada and Mexico including overall shipment savings, risk mitigation through port diversification, perceived transit time benefits, rail rate disparities, and avoidance of the U.S. harbor maintenance tax (HMT).
“The Canadian Chamber believes that everyone benefits from open competition. How the United States decides to handle its harbor maintenance tax is a domestic issue. However, we will fiercely resist any protectionist measures designed to penalize Canadian ports or carriers,” Beatty said.
The study noted there are many options available to Congress should it decide to revise or replace the current HMT structure, including a suggestion by former Congresswoman and FMC Chairwoman Helen D. Bentley that the Harbor Maintenance Tax be replaced by a system wherein a uniform user fee of $100 per container should be charged for each container entering the United States, regardless of the mode of transportation. - Chris Dupin