March 19, 2020 / 8:54 PM / 19 days ago

U.S. ports seek $6.5 billion in grants, assistance after coronavirus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A group representing major U.S. ports is seeking $6.5 billion in grants and direct assistance in the wake of a steep decline in port and cruise line traffic following the coronavirus pandemic, according to a letter to congressional leaders seen by Reuters.

The American Association of Port Authorities said early estimates suggest a 20% annualized reduction in cargo activity at U.S. ports, leading to a loss of $1 billion in revenue.

The group seeks $1 billion in port grants, $1 billion in direct assistance and $4.5 billion for federal navigation channel improvement and maintenance projects.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Sandra Maler

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