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  • People waiting to receive a COVID-19 test, Florida, E.U. July 23, 2020.

    People waiting to receive a COVID-19 test, Florida, E.U. July 23, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 4 August 2020
Opinion

Before the pandemic, Florida's seaports contributed with US$117.6 billion to the state economy.

Florida's Port Council (FlaPort) warned that 169,000 jobs and US$23 billion will be lost because of the economic crisis unleashed by the pandemic.

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These data, which come from a study carried out by the firm Martin Associates, were mentioned by the Council to request a stimulus package from the U.S. Congress.

The FlaPort Chairman and Executive Director Doug Wheeler argues that the U.S. ports need no less than $ 1.5 billion to stay operational.

Another US$2 billion would be needed for emergency responses, housekeeping, personnel management, workforce retention, sick pay, personal protective equipment, payment of debt service, and loss of earnings.

Before the pandemic, Florida's seaports contributed with US$117.6 billion to the state economy and with over 900,000 jobs.

The nearly 169,000 jobs at risk include those directly dependent on cruise ships and cargo,  and others affected by the cut in the supply chain and the shipping system.

Wheeler urged Congress to pass laws to provide the same relief to the maritime sector that other economic activities have received. He also requested to close the gap of the federal aid, which affects crucial points in the maritime supply chain.

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