© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Florida Ports Ask Congress For Help

Port Tampa Bay

Florida’s ports are asking for help from the federal government for heavy losses related to the cornavirus pandemic.

Since March, cargo traffic at Florida’s ports has slowed down and cruise ships have sat empty. The Florida Ports Council estimates169,000 jobs were lost due to the pandemic, and the total economic impact is $23 billion.  That includes people supporting cruise and cargo activity and those connected to maritime transportation.


“The seaports have previously not been included in any of the what seem like now several relief packages that have come from Congress or out of (Washington) D.C.,” said Ports Council CEO Doug Wheeler.

Wheeler said sea terminals have been left out of previous coronavirus relief packages, and that needs to change.  


"We’re asking from a nationwide standpoint for about $3.5 billion and we're looking at about $1.5 billion of that being directly for seaports themselves nationally," he said. "With the additional $2 billion being used for just general maritime sector businesses.” 


The assistance would help support the more than a dozen ports in Florida, include ones in Tampa and Manatee County.


The House passed a rescue packagefor ports in July, but the Senate hasn’t taken up the bill.  In a letter to Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York), the Ports Council urges the Senate to take action. 

Bradley George was a Morning Edition host and reporter at WUSF until March 2022.
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.