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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Increase Export Opportunities at the Port of Port Arthur in Texas

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Port of Port Arthur Navigation District, Port Arthur, Texas, to construct a new cargo handling, staging, and transport area that will enhance the Port’s capacity to handle exports. This EDA grant, to be matched with $815,653 in local investment, is expected to create 220 jobs, retain 55, and generate $44 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to helping improve our nation’s ports and assisting our exporters as we build back better from coronavirus.” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide infrastructure improvements to help the Port of Port Arthur remain globally competitive by enhancing its capacity to move U.S. products.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This EDA investment will make needed improvements to addresses supply chain issues that have been exasperated by the coronavirus pandemic.”

“I thank the Economic Development Administration for investing in the recovery and success of the Port Arthur Navigation District and the South East Texas Economic Development District for all your work in securing this grant,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges for Texas and our economy – but Texans are resilient, and by bringing together the public and private sectors we can build a path forward to unleash the full might of the Texas economy. With this investment, we will create hundreds of jobs and strengthen our export capabilities in the Port Arthur area and the entire state of Texas.”

“While Texans persevere as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on our state, we must take steps to ensure that our communities are equipped to weather the storm,” said Senator John Cornyn. “I applaud this announcement and will continue to do everything I can to make economic growth across Port Arthur a high priority.”

“Our ports here in southeast Texas, and the petrochemical and maritime industries they support, are critical to the economic success of the United States,” said Congressman Randy Weber (TX-14). “The Port of Port Arthur saw a significant decline in cargo volume as the COVID-19 pandemic ripped through the global economy, so we responded with relief through the CARES Act. In turn, the EDA’s investment in the Port Arthur Navigation District helps to bring back jobs lost to the pandemic, and in the meantime, I will continue working with our port officials and other business interests and local leaders—as well as my colleagues in Washington, D.C.—to restore our economic well-being.”

This project was made possible by the South East Texas Economic Development District’s (SETEDD) regional planning efforts, which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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