Wade: Deepening port critical to SC economic growth

February 28, 2014 

Rick Wade

— For more than 300 years, the Port of Charleston has been a substantial source of job creation and economic opportunity for the people of South Carolina. Deepening the port is widely accepted by both the business and government communities as essential to the continued growth of our state’s economy.

Recently, the Congress passed important legislation that would allow for the dredging of the Port of Charleston. The bill was supported by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, U.S. Reps. James Clyburn, Mike Mulvaney, Trey Gowdy, Joe Wilson and Tom Rice. Ports Authority Chairman Bill Stern called the bills “the most important votes in my lifetime that affect South Carolina in terms of job creation and economic development. This is a game changer.”

One official who didn’t support this commonsense bill was Sen. Tim Scott. Since being appointed to the Senate one year ago, Sen. Scott has proven himself to be less of an advocate for South Carolina and more of an activist for extreme partisan interests.

According to the Maritime Association of South Carolina, international trade through South Carolina’s maritime terminals facilitates more than 280,600 jobs across the state and has an annual economic impact of $45 billion. Deepening the Port of Charleston will support even larger container ships, increase imports and exports and enhance job opportunities across multiple business sectors.

When I was a senior official at the U.S. Department of Commerce, I worked to increase America’s global competitiveness. During my tenure, U.S. exports grew by more than $50 billion as we partnered with businesses large and small to find buyers for American-made products. If we’re going to rejuvenate our manufacturing sector, we must not only make sure that companies are building factories and making products here at home but also ensure they have the transportation infrastructure needed to ship and sell those products overseas.

Political and partisan interests should never come before the interests of the hardworking people of South Carolina.

Rick Wade

Columbia

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