Great Lakes Maritime Task Force names U.S. Representative Pete Stauber Legislator of the Year for 2023

The following is excerpted from an article released by the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, a coalition of which American Maritime Officers and American Maritime Officers Service are members. Attending the ceremony honoring Rep. Stauber was AMO National Vice President, Great Lakes, John Clemons, who serves as vice president, membership, of the GLMTF.

DULUTH, MINNESOTA – On August 18, 2023, the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF) recognized Congressman Pete Stauber for his staunch support of the Great Lakes Navigation System at the Clure Public Marine Terminal in Duluth, Minnesota.

Congressman Stauber continues to champion the miners that work on the northern tier of the Great Lakes supplying the critical raw materials that drive the national economy and make the Great Lakes region America’s industrial powerhouse. The millions of tons of iron ore extracted from Minnesota’s Mesabi Range is transported by U.S.-owned, U.S.-crewed, and U.S.-flagged vessels to steel mills in the southern Great Lakes contributing to more than 147,000 American jobs and $36 billion in economic impact.

Congressman Stauber believes in American workers and fully supports the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, more commonly known as the Jones Act. The critical law ensures U.S. cargo is carried by U.S. vessels between U.S. ports keeping our maritime industry strong with 650,000 sustained American jobs.

“As someone who has spent their entire life living around Lake Superior, I understand the powerful impact these incredible bodies of water bring to our local and national economies. Ensuring safe and reliable shipping through the Great Lakes is one of my top priorities serving in Congress, from advocating for the creation of a new lock at the Soo Locks in Michigan to supporting our hard-working union workforce in the shipping industry to ensuring our Coast Guard is well-equipped with icebreakers for winter. I am honored to be named the Legislator of the Year by the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force and will always advocate for our Great Lakes,” stated Congressman Stauber.

“Congressman Stauber is invested in America and its dedicated workforce. I applaud his selection for his tenacious support of the Fourth Sea Coast,” stated International Longshoremen’s Association General Organizer John D. Baker, who serves as president of the GLMTF.

The Great Lakes are cold in the winter and when ice forms it can impede commercial vessels, endanger sailors and their ships, and bring North American manufacturing to a halt without adequate federal icebreaking. Congressman Stauber continues to support icebreaking resources for the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) on the Great Lakes, endorsing authorization and appropriations for a new heavy Great Lakes icebreaker for the agency.

“Congressman Stauber understands that raw materials from Minnesota must be efficiently and safely moved to manufacturing facilities on the southern Great Lakes, no matter the harsh environmental conditions posed in winter. The USCG Great Lakes heavy icebreaker is critical but acquiring the asset hasn’t been an empty net goal requiring some hard third period work which Congressman Stauber continues to do,” stated Lake Carriers’ Association President Jim Weakley, who serves as vice president, government relations, of the GLMTF.

One of the most important efforts for the entire Great Lakes Navigation System has been the construction of the new large navigational lock in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Congressman Stauber has been instrumental in educating fellow members of Congress on the importance of the lock to the Great Lakes region and the nation as a whole. With only one 62-year-old large operational lock, the new lock provides much needed resiliency which would avert a catastrophic economic disaster should the current lock fail.

The presentation of the award was made at the Clure Public Marine Terminal. Executive Director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority Deb DeLuca stated, “Congressman Stauber is a fitting choice for this prestigious award, given his longtime advocacy on behalf of Great Lakes shipping and the nation’s domestic supply chain. His support helps Great Lakes ports remain strong and vibrant links in America’s supply chain, and we’re especially pleased that the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force is honoring a legislator from our own backyard, a former commissioner on the Duluth Seaway Port Authority board, and someone who is an effective advocate for regional industry.”

About Great Lakes Maritime Task Force

The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, with nearly 80 members, is the largest coalition to speak for the Great Lakes Navigation System. Advocating for domestic and international shipping, its members represent labor and management from U.S.-flag vessel operators, shipboard and longshore unions, port authorities, cargo shippers, terminal operators, shipyards, and other Great Lakes interests. The Great Lakes commercial maritime industry supports more than 147,000 American jobs in eight Great Lakes states and generates more than $36 billion in economic activity.